THE BARTLETT SCHOOL OF ARCHITECT, UCL
'Red House in a Potato Field' refers to an old saying of Finnish origin. The phrase bears the notion of the picturesque and a Finnish ideal of rurality, referencing the ubiquitous red cottages scattered throughout Finland’s countryside. Sited in Helsinki, this project sets out to challenge the Finnish ideals of rurality by visually deconstructing the surrounding landscape. Taking the form of an artist’s studio and public gallery, the building aims to celebrate both the rich cultural heritage of Finnish landscape painting and the raw natural beauty of Helsinki.
The programme of the building follows the notions of perception and interpretation. By creating a set of devices embedded in the architecture, the building allows artists to calibrate and experience the surrounding landscape in a forever changing capacity. Reflective surfaces, lenses and lines of sight are adaptable and manoeuvrable, enabling the artist to 'paint' the landscape. 3D scanning was a driving force in the design process as a way of visualising the perceived; the point cloud data enabled the interrogation and calibration of the building’s devices. Through the eye of the scanner, the building’s devices begin to construct a perceived landscape through a lens of abstraction.