»Wood is a democratic material.«

Trä meets

Finnish architect Sami Rintala does not create architecture for architecture’s sake. He believes that the built environment has the same task as art, and always strives to have dirty hands and a clean conscience.

Sami Rintala, when do you work with wood?
“As often as possible, particularly here in Northern Europe, since it’s a local and natural material. You can use wood to make everything in a building, from the structure and insulation to furniture and fittings.”

How do you feel about the material?
“I feel the seemingly everyday method of building with wood leads to interesting, unexpected and site-specific architecture. Working with wood is not just the most logical, economical and ecological way of building – it’s also the most interesting, because it provides the most scope for improvisation. Wood is a democratic material.”

As a lecturer, what message do you want to give to the next generation of architects?
“We need more different types of architects.

“Architecture is about problem-solving and can act as an educational forum for the whole of society. It shows how you can balance the physical forces and forms in the landscape, but also how you can reconcile political and philosophical factions. In that way, architecture has to do the same job as art.

“But as a rule, I believe future architects should get out and work in the field with their new portable tools, become the master builders they should be and create inclusive architecture that really means something. They should strive to have dirty hands and a clean conscience.”

Personalities that trä has met

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