The architecture students of University of Westminster and Aalto University in Finland co-operate in building a wooden tea pavilion in front of the Design Museum in Helsinki. The tea pavilion opens on 3rd July and stays open until the end of the Helsinki Design Week on 15th September. During this time anyone can come to the pavilion to drink tea and eat snacks.
The tea pavilion celebrates the anniversary of diplomatic relationship between Finland and Great Britain. In May it was hundred years since Britain acknowledged the independence of Finland. The Finnish architect Sami Rintala, who specialises in wood constructions, guides the students’ work. In practice the pavilion is produced in two countries: the bigger parts are made in Wood Studio at Aalto University and the smaller and lighter parts in London, from where they then travel with the students to Helsinki. “Finally, the students meet at the building plot and construct the pavilion. How does the end result then look like in real size? How does it feel to step inside for the first time? How does English tea taste like in a park in Helsinki? Soon we will find out”, says Rintala.
It is already the third year that Rintala teaches wood building to the students of Westminster with support from the Finnish Institute in London. The co-operation started in year 2017 with the project Mobile Home, in which the students of Westminster built a wooden shelter in Lusto – the Finnish Forest Museum. With the tea pavilion project the Finnish Institute in London wants to support the principles of sustainable development and at the same time it creates international networks.
Tea and snacks can be bought from the cafeteria at the Design Museum during its opening hours and brought to the site. Additionally, it is possible to bring own snacks to the pavilion around the clock.
Text: Jenni Ahtiainen Photo: Aino-Sofia Niklas-Salminen