UUNISAARI SUMMER THEATER
This commission, for a temporary summer theatre as part of Helsinki’s European City of Culture programme, seems conventional by the practice’s standards, but is approached with characteristically offbeat invention and vigour.
The site lies on the island of Uunisaari, part of a small cluster of islands just south of Helsinki. Home to colonies of seabirds, it is normally deserted; any intervention had to minimize disruption to its ecosystem. To this end, the installation of the theatre was timed so as not to coincide with the nesting season and extensive use was made of off-site prefabrication. The little theatre is housed in a simple drum-like pavilion composed of a plywood skin encasing a birch structure. The plywood is painted slate grey to merge with the surrounding rock, so the building looks as though it is an organic part of the landscape.
-Catherine Slessor, Architectural Review, March, 2001