Courtyard of Silence – The Environmental Structure of the Year

for Arabian palvelut Oy

”The most central justification to the selection of the winner was the entirety, where art work, functions of the yard and structural solutions are combined in a well functioning manner. The Courtyard of Silence is one of the finest in Finland.”

Jury for the Environmental Structure of the Year 2016-competition (Rakennustuoteteollisuus RTT and Puutarhaliitto)

The concept of the courtyard art, integrated art, environmental graphics.

Location: Hiljentymisen piha, Arabianranta, Finland

Co-operation with: Tuula Isohanni (art coordinator), Teresa Rönkä Maanlumo Oy, LOCI maisema-arkkitehdit Oy (chief designer), Sweco Rakennetekniikka, Pekka Helakorpi, Insinööritoimisto Savcon Oy, Taito Pettinen (structural planning), Elbox Oy, Ari Arvola (electrical planning), Olli Sinivaara (poet)

Year: 2015

The Courtyard of Silence is a residential yard in Arabianranta, Helsinki. It was awarded the annual Environmental Structure of the Year award in 2016. The Courtyard of Silence is a scenery sculpted from steel, concrete, plants and poems, where art and landscape architecture merge seamlessly.

The background for the artwork is in the residential area’s general art plan, which was done in cooperation with art coordinator Tuula Isohanni and Johanna Hyrkäs in 2007. The general plan included Kaisa Berry’s proposal for integrating art to yard design. The vision was taken forward when the the planning for the Courtyard of Silence started in cooperation with the landscape architecture company Maanlumo.

The industrial history of the area and the unique brown lands nature was an important part of the planning. The materials chosen for the site are coarse, industrial and durable. Steel, concrete and wood reference the industrial heritage of the area and the seaside vegetation pay homage to the maritime nature of the area.

Walls of art of varying height guard the main route. The motifs of the walls and the path repeat the shapes of the varying facades of the buildings in the lower court yard. The walls covered with dark steel function as supporting structures, divide space and serve as visual dividers. They act as a guide for both the path and the view. Three locations on the walls have poems that are dedicated to the Courtyard of Silence, which are also lit during the dark hours of the day.

The Courtyard of Silence is a result of successful cooperation between professionals from varying fields. During this project all parties involved, the developer, the designers, material suppliers and builders, committed themselves to a long standing project that has a clear vision.

The materials chosen for the yard - concrete, steel and cast iron - and the details required in design and both manufacturing and installation have required exceptional skills and smooth cooperation between the parties involved.

The courtyard was the first to win the prestigious Environmental Structure of the Year (Vuoden ympäristörakenne) 2016-competition.

Photography by Mika Huisman / Decopic and Berry Creative

Want to hear more? Please contact:

Kaisa Berry

Environmental artist, Architect 50 534 8839