Admission with Museum Card

New Standards

Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki

  • 21.1.2022–10.4.2022

New Standards presents the history of a uniquely Finnish approach to mass-produced housing in the twentieth century. First displayed in the Pavilion of Finland at the Biennale Architettura 2021 in Venice, the exhibition will receive its first showing in Finland at the Museum of Finnish Architecture.


New Standards presents the story of Puutalo Oy (Timber Houses Ltd.), an industrial enterprise established in 1940 to address the Karelian refugee crisis, when some 420,000 people were displaced by war. At this moment, both architects and industrialists came together to create a new model of factory-built housing that modernised Finlands construction industry. In less than a decade, the company became one of the largest manufacturers of prefabricated wooden buildings in the world. The story of Puutalos production and export during these two decades illustrates the ways in which architecture connected with political, industrial and economic forces during a period of intense global exchange and development.

The New Standards exhibition documents the history and development of these pre-fabricated buildings from 1940 to the mid-1950s. The houses were developed by some of Finlands leading mid-century architects and their archetypal exterior appearance belies the innovation that went into their structural design, spatial arrangement and domestic utility. Archival drawings, photographs and advertisements illustrate the ambitions of this period, revealing new innovations and illustrating the modifications that buildings underwent for different climates and cultural contexts. Although the houses, schools, barracks and hospitals manufactured by Puutalo are not included in most standard histories of architecture, they may be Finlands most widespread architectural export. The company and the buildings that it produced contributed significantly to the post-war rise in living standards across the world.

Originally commissioned and produced by Archinfo Finland for the Pavilion of Finland at the Biennale Architettura 2021 in Venice, the exhibition is conceived by a curatorial team of three academics linked by their work at Aalto University: Laura Berger, Philip Tidwell and Kristo Vesikansa. New photography of the Puutalo houses has been specially commissioned from acclaimed photographer Juuso Westerlund in order to show how these houses are inhabited today, and how they have been personalised over decades of use.

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Museum contact details

Museum of Finnish Architecture
Kasarmikatu 24, 00130 Helsinki

+358 45 7731 0474

Museum website

Yhteydet julkisilla

Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Museum of Finnish Architecture, Kasarmikatu 24, 00130 Helsinki


Tai lataa Reitit ja Liput -sovellus

Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card

10/5/0 . Yhteislippu Designmuseon kanssa 15 . Museokortti.

Payment methods

Kteinen, useimmat luotto- ja debit-kortit.

Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue 11:00-18:00
Wed 11:00-20:00
Thu 11:00-18:00
Fri 11:00-18:00
Sat 11:00-18:00
Sun 11:00-18:00