News

7/6/24

Climbing over Oulu - Revisiting the landscapes of the hidden city

From Saturday 8th to Thursday 13th of June 2024, French cultural organisation PPCM (Le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde), Flow Productions, Valve Cultural Center, Oulu 2026 and AaltoSiilo are delighted to present the series of workshops "Climbing over Oulu - Revisiting the landscapes of the hidden city".

The workshops, free of charge and open to all, will take the form of urban walks around Oulu.

We aim to bring together the plurality of voices within the city, and offer a platform for free expression. Participants will be encouraged to take the role of guides and reveal new paths and symbols across Oulu's landscape, in a shared experience of exploration and discovery. A visit to Alvar Aalto's Silo in Meri-Toppila will also offer the chance to participate in the activation of this space, currently being renovated by Factum Foundation and Skene Catling de la Peña.

On Thursday 13th, a site-specific artistic performance will celebrate the workshops' conclusion.

Organised by Eleftérios Kechagioglou (PPCM Director), and Amine Slimani (architect specialised in contemporary heritage) with Aaltosiilo's Project Manager Valentino Tignanelli, the events are presented within the framework of Oulu European Capital of Culture 2026.

Schedule:
Saturday 8.6
10:00-13:00 Meeting and introducing the concept in Culture Centre Valve, Hallituskatu 7
13:00-14:00 Lunch in town (self-catered)
14:00-17:30 Walk starting from Valve Cultural Centre to Alvar Aalto’s Silo through Pikisaari, linking landscapes, citizens and projects
Sunday 9.6
14:00-17:30 Walk starting from Valve Cultural Centre to Alvar Aalto’s Silo through Tuira, linking landscapes, citizens and projects
Monday 10.6
9:30-13:00 and 14:00-17:30 Walk around Meri-Toppila starting from Alvar Aalto’s Silo, Alvar Aallon katu 5
Thursday 13.6
17:30-18:30 Site-specific performance by local artists and PPCM musicians, performed at Alvar Aalto’s Silo, Alvar Aallon katu 5

Questions and signing up for the workshops: pirjo@flowprod.fi, 0400-938164
Let us know which day and time you would participate.

Open call: Climbing over Oulu - Revisiting the landscapes of the hidden city - Oulu2026

21/5/24

Visits at the Silo: The Arctic Construction Cluster

The Arctic Construction Cluster visited the silo with representatives of more than 20 construction companies operating in Northern Finland! Discussions about the future of the Silo, building health and tech innovation followed the tour.
The activities were part of the symposium organised by the Arctic Construction Cluster; Business Oulu, Regional Council of Lapland and funded by Interreg Aurora project of the European Union.

26/4/24

AaltoSiilo at the Design Museum in Helsinki

The AaltoSiilo project is part of the 'FIX: Care and Repair' exhibition at the Design Museum in Helsinki open from April 26th to January 5th, 2024. The exhibition, produced in collaboration with experts from the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum, brings together architecture, design, and contemporary art.

In spring 2023, the museums held an open call seeking proposals related to maintenance, care, and preservation and the AaltoSiilo was one of the over 130 applications from the fields of art, craftsmanship, design, and architecture.

More information on how to visit on the Design Museum's website

1/4/24

Unveiling Urban Futures: Oulu Innovative Playground

Join us on Thursday 11 April!

Oulu Innovative Playground is an event dedicated to sharing experiences and exploring new possibilities in the post-industrial landscape. Esteemed speakers will present their projects, aiming to discover innovative solutions for positive change through the integration of new technologies, policies, and citizen participation.

The focal point of this event is to connect these experiences with the ongoing development of the socially challenging Meri-Toppila neighbourhood in Oulu, Finland. At the heart of this development lies the Aaltosiilo project: a once-abandoned architectural landmark designed by Alvar Aalto, currently undergoing renovation by the Factum Foundation and Skene Catling de la Peña Studio. It is set to be transformed into a multipurpose building, serving as the future centrepiece of an urban village.

Following the speeches, there will be discussions on how these shared experiences can contribute to the development of Meri-Toppila and explore potential applications for the Aaltosiilo renovation.

Speakers:

  • Mikko Hauru, Hauru Oy
  • Elina Yli-Luukko and Kasper Karjalainen, Arctic Construction Cluster and Circular Economy Cluster
  • Pave Mikkonen, PAVE Arkkitehdit Oy
  • Janne Pihlajaniemi, University of Oulu Architecture School
  • Joonatan Hamari, The Nook Project
  • Johannes Helama, Oulu Future City Center
  • Jouni Rissanen, Keko Geopolymeerit Oy

Moderator: Petri Sirviö, Business Oulu

Join us for coffee at 13:30. Your presence is warmly welcomed!

This event is produced in collaboration with Aaltosiilo Ry/Factum Foundation, The Culture Department of the City of Oulu, and Business Oulu.

- Registration:

Secure your spot by registering before April 9th:

New European Bauhaus event OULU INNOVATIVE PLAYGROUND (lyyti.fi)

- Streaming Link:

New European Bauhaus event OULU INNOVATIVE PLAYGROUND (businessoulu.com)

16/2/24

Finnish delegation visits the Factum Foundation

In February 2024, Factum Foundation's studios in Madrid welcomed Ari Alatossava, Oulu's Deputy Mayor, Sami Ylisaari, Oulu's Director of Arts and Culture, Karri Oikarinen, Oulu's Project Director, Hanna Jakku, Oulu's Project Manager, and Petri Sirviö, Project Manager of Business Oulu Ltd. and director of the Hutaajaat Choir.

The discussions centred around the next phases of AALTOSIILO and its involvement in the events that will lead to Oulu 2026.

Since Factum Foundation acquired Alvar Aalto’s first industrial building, the Aaltosilo, remarkable things have happened and the building is coming back to life – both as a great example of an enlightened use of concrete and as a research centre into sustainable building technologies that can act as a realtime barometer for the environmental changes in the Gulf of Bothnia.

The Aaltosilo is establishing itself as a symbol of positive action that can rethink the relationship of industrial heritage to the Arctic environment. The calendar of events and participations during 2024 is packed and a new event is being planned for next September after the great success of FAREWELL TO THE HOPPERS and SCREAMING DUENDE.

More news to come soon!

16/9/23

Spirit of Paimio Conference

On October 16th, Otto Lowe participated as Keynote Speaker at the first edition of the conference Spirit of Paimio, hosted at the historic Paimio Sanatorium designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto. The conference is part of Paimio Sanatorium’s fundraising initiatives and highlights the evolution of the Paimio Sanatorium into a symbol of architecture focused on empathy, care, and human dignity.

Lowe presented the work of the Factum Foundation in aiding the preservation of cultural heritage through the use and development of non-invasive recording technologies. The potential of applying new technologies to architecture and industrial heritage is evident in the AaltoSiilo project and a recording of the Paimio Sanatorium is now undergoing discussion.

Listen to the conference on Google Podcasts or on Spotify

22/8/23

Meri-Toppila Neighbours Engage in Community Workshop for Neighbourhood Development

Oulu's Meri-Toppila district is gearing up for an exciting community event that promises to shape its future. The "Naapurit" meetings are scheduled for Saturday, September 2nd, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Alvari Cultural Centre (Sihtikuja 2, Meri-Toppila, Oulu). The initiative is jointly organised by Kulttuurivoimalan and AALTOSIILO, with the aim of fostering community engagement and collaborative planning for the neighbourhood's evolution.

The event kicks off at 1:00 p.m. with a collective map intervention, where participants will contribute to a large wooden map of the area. It will be followed by an interactive session titled "Sharing the Neighbours' Experiences" from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The time slot from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. will be dedicated to "Area plans: History, ideas, and thoughts.", focussing on the district's urban master plans and the valuable insights gleaned from previous experiences.

As a co-organiser, AALTOSIILO is determined to keep offering accessible and conducive spaces for essential dialogues around the revitalisation of Oulu and the district of Meri-Toppila.

5/6/23

SCREAMING DUENDE: Thank you!

© Emilia Kangas

On June 3rd, we organised two shows, one in Finland and one in Madrid, with the idea of awakening the spirit of the duende. The poet Federico García Lorca described the intense experience of duende as "an ecstasy inspired by tragedy, an uncontrollable poetic emotion".

Through these performances, we feel that the duende has acquired a new universal artistic dimension, bringing together cultures and people across borders. The Screaming Duende performance is a step towards the future of AaltoSilio as a diverse performance and exhibition space.

Screaming Duende was also live-streamed in Spain and joined to a performance by Sudanese singer Wafir Gibril, organised at the Finnish Institute in Madrid. Gibril sang flamenco songs in Arabic, accompanied by a lute, and the performance chorused the Arabic influences and multicultural richness of flamenco culture. Gibril's performance served as a bridge between Oulu and its growing Syrian and Iraqi refugee communities. Gibril performed in a Syrian sash and sang quejío songs typical of flamenco, bringing to the surface the feelings of hardship and suffering of refugees.

We warmly thank everyone involved in organising the event, both in Finland and in Spain! You can watch the performance here

27/5/23

AaltoSiilo hosts the Meri Toppila Photowalk

What does Meri-Toppila look like? Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre invites Meri-Toppila residents and people who are fond about the place to be local guides to places that are important to them. There will be a series of photowalks, where visual artist Tuomo Kangasmaa will lead the participants into the world of viewing.

The monthly photowalks begin with an orientation evening. During the evening, we gather at Asukastupa Alvari (Kuorimokatu 1, Oulu) for a photo viewing to discuss what they tell about the area and the photographer himself. How do we look at the image and what does it tell us? The evening sets the stage for future photowalks.

The photowalks are co-produced by the City of Oulu Cultural Services, Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre and Asukastupa Alvari

22/5/23

The Paimio Sanatorium Discussions for Emerging New Worlds

AaltoSiilo participated in the Paimio Sanatorium Discussions for Emerging New Worlds: a discussion series celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Paimio Sanatorium. The themes of the events derive from Alvar and Aino Aalto’s radical combination of architecture, nature and research which focuses on the well-being of the individual.

How we create and understand the world around us, what we value and consume and how businesses are evolving and need to evolve, are rapidly becoming the key focus of the transition to a sustainable future.

Industries and companies are awakening to the need to re-evaluate business models, supply chains, production models and locations. Among others, this raises questions about re-patriating production and its consequences, as well as the benefits and challenges of production at home versus production abroad.

To accommodate the world’s population and development will mean that building, producing furniture and other goods will not cease in the foreseeable future. What needs to change is our way of viewing materials as resources, our understanding of design requirements and how we integrate the potential for reuse, life-cycle thinking and collaboration between industries, to develop new solutions, applications, techniques and even materials.

More info at Paimio Sanatorium

10/5/23

SAVE THE DATE: 'SCREAMING DUENDE' @ AALTOSIILO June 3rd 2023

As part of the Oulu 2026 cultural program, Factum Foundation and AaltoSiilo are organising SCREAMING DUENDE, a new event in Meri-Toppila, Oulu on June 3rd. It is a world premiere of pairing the radical flamenco master Israel Galván and the Huutajat (Screaming Men) Choir. The event is a central part of the AaltoSiilo project, which uses art and industrial cultural heritage to develop this unique silo.

There will also be performances by vinyl DJs Malsson, Tenko, and Matti Aikio and an audiovisual concert by Veera Neva & Arttu Nieminen. The event is free and will be live-streamed and projected outside the Silo itself. The event can also be followed on Oulu2026’s Facebook page.

At AaltoSiilo Israel Galván will meet the world-famous Huutajat Choir in the spirit of Federico García Lorca’s concept of duende. García Lorca describes duende as a tragedy-inspired ecstasy, a poetic, and uncontrollable emotional state.

“El duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought.”

Oulu is the European Capital of Culture for 2026. Screaming Duende is part of the Oulu2026 culture program and the cultural climate change. The event follows last year’s event, where Transistori band played the silo building as a large-scale urban instrument.

AaltoSiilo
Alvar Aallon katu 5, Oulu
June 3, 2023, from 4 pm to 9 pm

Program [EEST timezone]
4:00 pm DJ Malsson
5:00 pm DJ Tenko
6:00 pm DJ Matti Aikio
7:00 pm Veera Neva & Arttu Nieminen
8:00 pm Israel Galván & Screaming Men’s Choir

Watch the streaming live on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/aaltosiilo
Or on Oulu 2026's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Oulu2026Official

9/5/23

Visits at the Silo: Cupore

The Centre for Cultural Policy Research Cupore’s researchers (from the left) Sakarias Sokka, Vappu Renko, Aino Leppänen and Mervi Luonila visited Aaltosiilo. Cupore is monitoring and evaluating Oulu2026 and its role in the long-term development of the participating municipalities.

During their stay in Oulu in May 2023, the researchers visited various cultural actors to discuss their current operating possibilities and expectations for the European Capital of Culture.

“Aaltosiilo is an ambitious and interesting project, and we are excited to see it develop in the future!”

More info at: Kulttuuripolitiikan tutkimuskeskus - Cupore

22/2/23

Oulu2026 Cultural Personality: Valentino Tignanelli

© Vilma Töyräs

What projects are you working on now?

My main job in Oulu is being Project Manager, Designer and Cultural Producer for the Aalto Siilo: the process of renovation of the Alvar Aalto designed Meri-Toppila Silo into a climate change action audiovisual center.

The project is being carried on by the Factum Foundation, one of the most important archive conservation technologies organizations in the world, based in Madrid, with designs and plans by lead architect Charlotte Skene Catling from Skene Catling De La Peña studio,London. In September 2022, in collaboration with Oulu 2026 we organized our first event, called “Farewell to the hoppers”. More than a thousand people came to Meri-Toppila to enjoy a site-specific audiovisual production of several local artists that used the building as an urban-scaled music instrument.

Also, as a freelancer I am working on different design (graphic, industrial, audiovisual and architectural) related projects in Finland and Europe. For example, the last semester I designed a restaurant in Nice, France, worked in the production of a music video in Liguria, Italy for a Helsinki based creative agency and for a local Oulu business carried on a series of design studies for floating saunas. Design is a question of scale, not of format!

- Read the full interview on Oulu2026

30/1/23

Skábmagovat – Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival

AALTOSIILO is honoured to have participated to Skábmagovat – Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival (January 26th – 29th) as a Media Guest. Skábmagovat is a highly-regarded international and multicultural winter event in Northern Finland, and is organised in Inari, the Sámi “capital” of the country, to promote and share about Indigenous movie productions and talent.

30/11/22

Visits at the Silo: Oulu University of Applied Sciences

© Anna Niemelä

The AALTOSIILO restoration work is heading into its next phase. During the harsh Finnish winter in Oulu we are able to work indoors to cut the hoppers out of the building. As plans for its re-use take shape, the interest in the project, both locally and internationally, is growing.

After the 'FAREWELL TO HOPPERS' event last September, a group of twelve students from the the advanced course of Renovation Building Design (part of the degree programme in Construction Architecture) at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences visited the Silo on November 14th.

A documentary on the Silo is also in the making for 2023.

18/10/22

'FAREWELL TO THE HOPPERS' - Thank you!

Video by © Valentino Tignanelli

'FAREWELL TO THE HOPPERS' was the first event organised by Factum Foundation in collaboration with Oulu, European Capital of Culture 2026, as part of Oulu2026.

We are delighted by the attendance both on site and online, and we wish to thank our team and everyone that made this extraordinary event possible.

The two industrial metal hoppers formerly used during the cellulose-making process and played by Transistori during the event will be dismantled and removed from site in 2023, as part of the restoration works undertaken by the Factum Foundation and Skene Catling de la Peña.

You can still watch the whole event on Twitch
Share about the AALTOSIILO

25/8/22

Farewell to the Hoppers

On September 24th, Factum Foundation in collaboration with Oulu, European Capital of Culture 2026 will be organising a series of performances, projections and a concert in the iconic Silo by Alvar Aalto. Freely open to the public and available on Facebook streaming ,‘FAREWELL TO THE HOPPERS’ is the first event of AaltoSiilo project produced by Factum Foundation as part of Oulu2026 culture programme.

The event will start with local DJs and audiovisual artists on the grounds surrounding the Silo, located in the Meri Toppila district of Oulu. The main show, offered by Finnish percussion group Transistori, will be performed inside the iconic building designed by architects Alvar and Aino Aalto. The audience will be able to experience Transistori’s performance through a LED screen installed outside the Silo.

Two industrial metal hoppers formerly used during the cellulose-making process will be dismantled and removed from site in 2023, as part of the restoration works undertaken by the Factum Foundation and Skene Catling de la Peña. A third one was already removed from the Silo during checks to the structural integrity of the building in the past years. The cavernous and peculiar sound of these metal hoppers caught the attention of Finnish percussion group Transistori, who specialises in instruments built from scrap and recycled materials. The performance will highlight and explore the industrial past of the Toppila Pulp Mill Silo and its rebirth after restoration.

The group, composed of six musicians and two sound engineers, all originally from Oulu, will use the hoppers and funnels as percussion instruments during the performance, remixing and enhancing their sound using electronic beats, synthesizers and drum machines. The interior of the Silo will act as a resonating chamber, transforming the building into an urban-sized musical instrument.

The Silo, designed to store wood chips for cellulose production and located in the Meri Toppila area of Oulu, is currently undergoing restoration. The not-for-profit Factum Foundation and the award-winning architectural practice Skene Catling de la Peña, who acquired the Silo in 2020, aim to repurpose it as a multi-purpose centre for the digital preservation of industrial heritage in the North.

Event timetable and lineup:
- 4pm-7pm:
DJ sets by Crash Doom, Miha, Otilia
- 7pm-8pm: Audiovisual performances by Ohmudog
- 8pm-9pm: Transistori

WATCH THE LIVESTREAM: https://www.twitch.tv/siilo_24092022

16/3/22

A busy start

© Ruiz Romero for the Oulu 2026 European Capital of Culture Foundation

Since the beginning of 2022, while weather conditions in Finland don't allow for the renovation works to continue, the team at Aaltosiilo has been quite busy presenting the new plans and design updates to the Oulu 2026 Capital of Culture Foundation team and the city planning council. The project is now officially part of the Oulu 2026 programming and plans are in the making to organise the first event within the Silo this summer.

The focus on recycling and reuse has prompted the Skene Catling de la Peña team to look for suitable demolition sites in order to reclaim and reuse building material (or 'spolia') in and around Oulu. Charlotte Skene Catling was invited as a keynote speaker at the European University of Post-Industrial Cities in Rotterdam on June 17, where she will present the AALTOSIILO project and the Meri Toppila urban transformation process.

The Silo keeps gaining attention in the international press, with several articles published or planned for publication. See our Press section to stay up to date.

Read the Aaltosiilo brochure to learn more about the project.

23/12/21

Let there be light!

© Valentino Tignanelli

No longer a building for storing woodchips, the Silo is now an extraordinary piece of sculpture. Since July, Valentino Tignanelli and the team in Finland have cleared, cleaned and secured the building after decades of neglect; the pigeons no longer rule the roost. The most recent step, before the snow and freezing weather halted building work until spring, has been the installation of electricity and lighting.

Through the preservation of this great building, the goal is to create a new approach to the recording and reuse of industrial heritage. After an extremely positive meeting with the Oulu planning department, Skene Catling de la Peña are currently developing the design of the new Research Centre, and working with engineers eHRW and other Finnish partners to define a protocol for recycling large pieces of demolition waste.

"The Aaltosiilo project ends its first operational year with the building and plot of land fully cleaned and cleared. Plus, now for the first time in 40 years, the inside is lightened up by a new electricity network and dozens of working lights.

2022 will see the Siilo renovated in depth, with sustainable practices and innovative solutions that will hopefully allow us to host the first events and shared discussions with the community about its future. Everybody in Oulu is looking forward to the revitalisation of this iconic landmark and the work will continue at a fast pace, among Northern lights in the sky and snow in the ground!"


Valentino Tignanelli
Project manager for AALTOSIILO

11/10/21

3D scan of the silo exterior is completed

The AALTOSIILO team is delighted to announce that the 3D model of the Aalto Siilo has been completed in collaboration with the Arctic Drone Labs team from Oulu University of Applied Sciences. The scanning of the building and its plot was done using drone-based Lidar and photogrammetry during the summer. The model will soon be updated to include the interior of the building.

The 3D model will serve as a record of the building prior to restoration and also provide a base for the architectural plans.

19/7/21

Renovation works begin: cleaning the Silo

© Valentino Tignanelli

Since the beginning of July, a dedicated team led by Valentino Tignanelli is carrying out the first phase of the AALTOSIILO renovations. More than four containers of trash, accumulated in years of neglect, were removed from the building. The surfaces of the lower interiors, up to the original 1930s bridge (which will undergo restoration for stability issues) were pressure-cleaned and the team is expecting to finish cleaning the building very soon in order to start the repainting phase.
Pest control measures were also enforced to rid the Silo of the colony of pigeons that previously endangered further drone surveys. Arctic Drone Labs, in partnership with Oamk, has already started recording the outside of the Silo to make a 3D model of the building.

14/7/21

The 15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry

The 15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry (August 12-13 2021), will focus on the current challenges of the spaces and milieus of the history, present and future manufacturing industry. The main theme will be studied from three specific viewpoints. Reliable partner: a factory building in the city, Responsible action: sustainable industrial milieus and Building identity: The role of industrial architecture in constructing community, recognizability and perceived value.

Charlotte Skene Catling and Adam Lowe will present the AALTOSIILO as keynote speakers in this event organised by the Alvar Aalto Academy together with the City of Jyväskylä and several other partners. The 2-day programme will include besides speeches and conversations, architectural excursions, exhibitions and various public events.

Visit the event page for updates

5/7/21

AALTOSIILO and Rafael Moneo

The limited edition designed by Rafael Moneo in support of the AALTOSIILO © Rafael Moneo

Factum Foundation is delighted to present a limited edition of La Mejorada’s ‘Las Cercas’ 2015 wine, designed by Rafael Moneo in support of the AALTOSIILO project in Oulu. The winery of El Monasterio de La Mejorada has, itself, undergone extensive restorations to ensure its survival and now houses award winning wine which will help raising funds for the AALTOSIILO: a collaborative effort to recognise the importance of architectural and industrial heritage.
We thank Rafael for his kind contribution and support to this initiative.
More news to come soon!

5/7/21

The Aalto Capsule & Silo Dreaming

Interior of the Toppila Wood Chip Silo in the winter of 2021 © Laura Klemola

As part of the third edition of the Architecture Film Festival in London (2 - 27 June), the 'Aalto Capsule', curated by Charlotte Skene Catling, used many different perspectives and media to focus attention on Alvar and Aino Aalto’s modernist concrete Silo in Oulu. The aim was not only to reflect on Alvar Aalto’s legacy as one of the most renowned architects of the 20th century, but also to celebrate the fact that Oulu has been selected as the European City of Culture in 2026.

Aalto’s personal life, influences and architecture were explored through the feature documentary Aalto (2020) by Virpi Suutari, while his first industrial project, the 1931 Toppila Pulp Mill Factory and the live AaltoSiilo architectural project, address many current concerns such as how industrial architectural heritage is preserved and reused, the impact of industry on the environment in the Arctic North, how buildings and nature are recorded, and how changes in current architectural practice might tackle some of the destructive industrial residue of the 20th century. The AaltoSiilo restoration and rejuvenation aim to contribute to the rethinking of materiality for the 21st century and the role industrial heritage plays in memory, in shaping place and cultural identity both in the past and in the present. Working with cultural organisations and the city of Oulu we aim to make the Silo a dynamic part of life in Toppila: a local focus for creative ideas with global impact.

The feature-length documentary, Remembrance, A Small Film About Oulu in the 1950’s (2013) by Peter von Bagh, puts the project into context, as does 'Silo Dreaming', a text about the impact of these iconic forms on early 20th century modernist architecture. Aalto’s original drawings, models and colour swatches for the silo from the Aalto Foundation Archive act as representations of thinking and process. Current recordings include a recent drone film, AaltoSiilo, (2020) by Tapio Snellman, an interactive Lidar scan and panorama, AaltoSiilo360º by Rami Saarikorpi and a haunting sound recording of the space by Valentino Tignanelli. A podcast and illustrated talk between Adam Lowe and Charlotte Skene Catling about the AaltoSiilo include a brief background to Oulu, its complex history and ‘Tar Bourgeois’, as well as the multiple aims and extraordinary range of subjects this project encapsulates.

Access the free content of the Aalto Capsule

12/12/20

AALTOSIILO: Factum Foundation and Oamk

© Otto Lowe

Factum Foundation and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk) are delighted to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which establishes the terms of a collaboration between the two institutions. The project will offer an innovative research and training program that responds to theoretical, practical and ethical imperatives surrounding the use of new and emerging digital technologies for the conservation and rehabilitation of built heritage in the Nordic countries. Graduate students, PhD candidates, and post-doctoral fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate on interdisciplinary research and training with some of the world’s leading academics and professionals working with the application of digital technologies for architectural heritage.

Factum Foundation is working with Skene Catling de la Peña while fundraising is ongoing to support the restoration of this great building, empower the local community and open up the AALTOSIILO to an international audience dedicated to recording and revealing industrial architecture and the changing environment of the region. The renovation work is scheduled to start in Spring 2021.

More on the project

Press release (English | Finnish)

21/8/20

Silo designed by Alvar Aalto in Oulu has new owners

© Otto Lowe

On Friday 21st August, the Alvar Aalto silo located in Oulu was purchased by Charlotte Skene Catling, from the architectural practice Skene Catling de la Peña, and Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation.

Charlotte Skene Catling and Skene Catling de la Peña collaborate regularly with Adam Lowe and Factum Foundation on the public exhibition of their work, that merges technology and cultural preservation, in major exhibitions for institutions such as 'The Veronica Scanner: Live 3D Portraiture' at the Royal Academy, London, ‘Scanning Seti: The Regeneration of a Pharaonic Tomb’ at the Antikenmuseum Basel, and ‘Madame de Pompadour in the Frame’ at Waddesdon Manor. They are currently designing a permanent gallery in a Grade II listed building for the display of 17th century Spanish art and architecture in Bishop Auckland (as part of The Auckland Project, to open in 2021) and on converting the 16th century building in Seville in which the painter Diego Velázquez was born into a Museum and Interpretation Centre for the general public (The Casa Natal de Velázquez, to open in 2022). They are working together to try to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England’s oldest manufacturing company, and to return a working 21st-century foundry to this internationally important heritage site.

The new owners look forward to fully restoring this great building and ensuring that it has a future. It was built as a cellulose silo by Alvar Aalto in 1931 but from the time the restoration is complete it will be used as a centre applying technology to preservation.