The Centre of Folk Art, Kaustinen, Finland


Location: Kaustinen, Finland

Year: 1998 

Programme: Concert hall, exhibition areas, education and research facilities

Total Area: Gross area 18,800m2



For visiting information visit the centre's website here




The Folk Art Centre, Kaustinen, is located in the Central Ostrobothnian region of Finland. The activities of the centre include research, exhibition and performance of various forms of folk art.


Choosing this site for the centre has offered the opportunity for an exceptional design solution: the building’s central functions, the concert hall for 400 people as well as part of the foyer and the exhibition space, are embedded in the rock. This solution adds a strong experiential atmosphere to the space. The walls and the ceiling are be pure rock surface, whilst a light wooden ceiling is suspended from the rock for acoustical and technical purposes.


The music and exhibition facilities are available for a range of different activities. The music hall is used for teaching, and also serves as the venue for national and international conferences. The exhibition facilities serve the Museum of Traditional Instruments and other folk art organisations presenting handicrafts or architecture. In addition, the centre houses the extensive folk music instrument collection of Professor Erkki Ala-Könni.




Mies van der Rohe Award nominee 1998




Design team - Rainer Mahlamäki and Ilmari Lahdelma with, Juha Mäki-Jyllilä, Minna Lahdelma, Vesa-Jukka Vuorela, Pekka Heikkinen


Furniture – Työhuone Gullsten & Inkinen


Interiors – Jari Inkinen


Exhibition planning and construction – Carina Jaatinen, Rainer Mahlamäki and Johanna Raukko