In the Proust’s short questionnaire style, AA questions architects about their profession, their projects, their vision of the future. Today, we meet the Finnish office JKMM based in Heksinki, created in 1998 by the architects Juha Mäki-Jyllilä, Teemu Kurkela, Asmo Jaaksi and Samuli Miettinen (who chose to answer us in music). The office is also influent in the domains of the interior and furniture design. During the last years, JKMM was awarded with 91 design prizes, among which 49 first prizes. All the work of JKMM is rooted in simplicity, craftsmanship et experimentation.
AA : Being architect means…
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : Build a better world to live in, change complex things into simple ones.
Teemu Kurkela : I see architects as the designers of the new improvements in infrastructures.
Samuli Miettinen : Rock Around The Cock (Association PC).
Asmo Jaaksi : Exhausting days and sleepless nights, but a for good reason.
AA : What are, according to you, the new challenges of the profession?
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : The possibilities of new robotic and 3D printing technologies in building industry. But we still have to keep in mind the basics ideas of architecture.
Teemu Kurkela : We are facing big challenges such as rapid urbanisation and aging society. To create better cities and a better way of life, we need to build future infrastructures now.
Samuli Miettinen : Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who).
Asmo Jaaksi : Architecture should strengthen people’s roots in a more and more globalized world.
AA : Your perfect order would be…
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : Elegant and simple.
Teemu Kurkela : To respect simple but intelligent solutions. Good solutions are practical, the best solutions are also simple.
Samuli Miettinen : The House Of The Rising Sun (Animals).
Asmo Jaaksi : Zero assholes in the project.
AA : Your job in 20 years
Teemu Kurkela : It seems that the way we work and live is changing everywhere. Old design rules have changed and new rules do not exist yet. But it is great to kind of re-start from zero.
Samuli Miettinen : Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin) or Highway To Hell (AC/DC).
Asmo Jaaksi : Trying to stay in motion. The more you experienced you get, the more you need to be.
AA : The advice you’d give to a young architect
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : Don’t design anything unnecessary.
Teemu Kurkela : In design process, to have trust that along the way, the building will design itself. Remember to give room to unexpected results rather than trying to force your own fixed ideas on a project. So try to develop new rules and theories.
Samuli Miettinen : Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas) and Imagine (John Lennon).
Asmo Jaaksi : Be softly tough.
AA : What you want to transmit to your co-workers
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : High ambition but relaxed atmosphere.
Teemu Kurkela : Architecture can be used as a tool to push for changes. It is one of the most effective ways to transform our workplaces and living environments. It is smart to use architecture for good, but many projects have much lower ambitions.
Samuli Miettinen : Dream On (Aerosmith).
Asmo Jaaksi : Keep the faith.
AA : The emerging architect we should follow
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : There are many…for me it would be a young Finnish group named AOR.
Teemu Kurkela : There are many really good young offices in Finland at the moment.
Samuli Miettinen : Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983).
Asmo Jaaksi : Promising Finnish young offices, like AOR and OPUS.
AA : The project you would have loved to sign
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : The Ronchamp Chapel by Le Corbusier.
Teemu Kurkela : I feel like there is a big family of heroes and iconic projects inside my head I continue to examine and enjoy. Reima and Raili Pietilä’s Dipoli is one of them.
Samuli Miettinen : Hotel California (Eagles).
Asmo Jaaksi : The Pantheon (Rome).
AA : The other job you would have practiced
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : Carpenter.
Teemu Kurkela : I have been nursing the idea of becoming an architect since I was about 10 years old, and skyscrapers started to appear in my drawings on edges of schoolbooks. By the time I was sixteen, I decided to enroll to art high school thinking that I might become an architect. But is it really healthy that architecture became a primitive passion rather than a normal job?
Samuli Miettinen : Mr. Sandman (The Chordettes).
Asmo Jaaksi : An architect in 1930’s.
AA : An inspiring place
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : Northern Lapland in winter.
Teemu Kurkela : I visited Hagia Sofia (Istanbul, Turkey) in the spring and early morning light entered the vast inside space. I was impressed.
Samuli Miettinen : Africa.
Asmo Jaaksi : The horizon.
AA : A book, an object, a piece of art you particularly love
Juha Mäki-Jyllilä : Dostojevski’s Crime and Punishment, round stairs in Eero saarinen’s General Motors building, Eduardo Chillida’s Wind Comb along the seafront in San Sebastian.
Teemu Kurkela : I always liked Mies van der Rohe. I keep returning to Zen Gardens of Kyoto.
Samuli Miettinen : Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel).
Asmo Jaaksi : 75 years old towels made of flax that my grandma has weaved when working in a factory, that my mother then sewed and embroidered as a child, and that we still use everyday in my family – real slow design.
For more informations about JKMM, click here.