Digital fabrication and traditional woodworking fuse together in Y, a modern sculpture with a provocative and pixelated appearance. A team of international architects and carpenters comprising &’ [Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects] collaborated with the Finnish National Museum to create the funnel-shaped art piece in Helsinki’s Seurasaari open-air museum. The intriguing artwork is built from horizontal prefabricated cross-laminated timber elements interlocked by 568 timber wedges.


Y sculpture at Seurasaari open air museum, Y sculpture Niemelä Tenant Farm, Y by Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects, digital fabrication and traditional woodworking, digital fabrication with handicrafts, digitally fabricated timber sculptures

The temporary Y was built in the historical Niemelä Tenant Farm courtyard, creating a new social space on museum grounds. “Y is an equation of temporality, time and provocative use of wood in the museum milieu,” wrote the architects. “As Y is the mathematical symbol for the unknown, the installation Y points to the future and the possible outcomes of Nordic built heritage. In Niemelä, Y is a variable within the parameter of time.” The funnels-shaped sculpture is large enough to climb into and explore like a cave, and its hypnotic effect encourages meditative practice.

Y sculpture at Seurasaari open air museum, Y sculpture Niemelä Tenant Farm, Y by Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects, digital fabrication and traditional woodworking, digital fabrication with handicrafts, digitally fabricated timber sculptures

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Architecturally, the most interesting aspect of Y is its combination of digital fabrication with traditional woodworking. The project’s carpenters used traditional handicraft methods to help develop the project, while the architects brought their set of digital design and production tools to the table. The result is a sculpture that functions like a giant wooden joint that’s built from prefabricated cross-laminated timber elements. The use of timber gives the artwork a feeling of familiarity, however the pixelated appearance adds a touch of the futuristic and unknown.

+ &’ [Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects]

Images by SWANG

Y sculpture at Seurasaari open air museum, Y sculpture Niemelä Tenant Farm, Y by Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects, digital fabrication and traditional woodworking, digital fabrication with handicrafts, digitally fabricated timber sculptures

Y sculpture at Seurasaari open air museum, Y sculpture Niemelä Tenant Farm, Y by Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects, digital fabrication and traditional woodworking, digital fabrication with handicrafts, digitally fabricated timber sculptures

Y sculpture at Seurasaari open air museum, Y sculpture Niemelä Tenant Farm, Y by Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects, digital fabrication and traditional woodworking, digital fabrication with handicrafts, digitally fabricated timber sculptures

Y sculpture at Seurasaari open air museum, Y sculpture Niemelä Tenant Farm, Y by Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects, digital fabrication and traditional woodworking, digital fabrication with handicrafts, digitally fabricated timber sculptures