helsinkizurich is an internationally operating architecture and planning consultancy. Our work is driven by the belief that the quality of people’s lives is directly influenced by their surroundings, at work, at home or the public spaces in between. We make places for good life.
helsinkizurich is an office for architecture, urban design and urban planning. Our work is driven by the belief that carefully built space has a positive effect on people’s quality of life, be it in urban areas, at work or at home.We create livable spaces and develop concepts for them that deal with sustainability, social change and innovation. Dialogue is part of our everyday life: Good projects arise in the context of a wide range of interests and needs and different scales. Mirjam Niemeyer, Tommi Mäkynen and Antti Ahlava have many years of experience in teaching and research at the ETH, ZHAW and Aalto University and maintain ongoing relationships with universities, think tanks and NGOs in Europe and Asia. We promote young architects and support research culture in the office.
Our projects are created in collaboration with experts from the fields of transport planning, economy, environment, sustainability, cultural heritage and landscape architecture.
We are professional members in Swiss Society of Architects and Engineers (SIA), Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), Fachverband Schweizer Raumplaner (FSU), Bayerische Architektenkammer (BayK), Association of Finnish Architecture Offices (ATL), FISE Finnish Registry of Professionally Qualified Building Designers, FISE Finnish Registry of Professionally Qualified Urban Designers and Planners.
helsinkizurich was founded by Mirjam Niemeyer, Antti Ahlava and Tommi Mäkynen in Helsinki and Zurich in 2009. Each takes part in the projects of the company, contributing their own expertise to design and management in all phases of the projects.
Architect, M.Sc.Arch, SAFA, FSU
Tommi Mäkynen, architect and urban designer, studied architecture and urban planning at Helsinki University of Technology, ETSAM Madrid, and urban design at Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. Before graduation, Tommi worked at Helin & Siitonen Architects and Tuomo Siitonen architects giving him a solid basis for prize-winning architecture. After graduating, he co-founded M41LH2, a design office that received international fame for hospitality interiors. These experiences allowed him to develop the cross-scale approach that has guided his work since then.
Tommi co-founded helsinkizurich in 2009. He is co-responsible for the management of the office in Zurich and coordinates many of HZ’s projects across scales in several countries. He has worked on architecture, urban design and planning projects in Switzerland, Germany, Finland, across North and East Europe and in China. Focus areas are urban transformation projects, traffic infrastructure-related developments, master planning, and interiors.
Research and development are nurturing Tommi’s work, evolving the understanding of complex project situations and current themes. He is regularly invited to lectures, workshops, and juries. Tommi has comprehensive experience in leading large design teams and advising on process design and stakeholder management. Often, he combines HZ’s role as a designer with an advisory role to clients. Whenever he can make it, Tommi escapes to the mountains.
Architect, Dipl.-lng. (FH) MAS ETH SIA FSU
Mirjam Niemeyer graduated with distinction in 2004 as an architect from the PBSA Peter Behrens School of Architecture in Düsseldorf Germany. During and after her studies she worked for various international architects offices among which b&k+ Arno Brandlhuber und Bernd Kniess, HPP Architekten, and Pablo Molestina. After her post-graduate studies on urban design at ETH Zurich, she gained international experience as an urban design specialist at Metron Raumentwicklung and in research while working at the ETH at the chair of Kees Christiaanse.
In 2009, Mirjam co-founded helsinkizurich. She is co-responsible for the management of the office in Zurich and leads many of HZ Zurich office’s projects spanning from interiors and urban design to the design and development of masterplans and transformation strategies in various scales and international contexts. Among a broad variety of projects, Mirjam pursues a focus on housing-related challenges.
Teaching is integral to Mirjam’s work, evolving and nurturing the understanding of urban development in different contexts. She is currently a board member and curator of CANactions school fro Urban Studies in Kyiv and teaching urban design at ZHAW Winterthur. In the past, she has taught at PBSA and led several international workshops for young professionals. Further, she is a board member at Zürcher Studiengesellschaft für Bau- und Verkehrsfragen (zbv) and frequently invited as an expert in workshops, conferences, and juries. To balance things, Mirjam goes for a run.
Architect SAFA, professor, M.Arch., DA
Antti Ahlava graduated in 1997 as an architect from the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland. Antti developed a solid background in practical building design and industrial reuse at Kai Wartiainen’s architecture office and in MOD Architects. In 2001 he received a doctor’s title for his Ph.D. on “Architecture in a consumer society” and has been working in several roles at Aalto University since then.
In 2009, Antti co-founded helsinkizurich. He is the responsible partner for the management of the office in Helsinki and leads many of the office’s projects in the Nordic region spanning from the interior, building, and urban design to the development of masterplans. Antti is an expert in campus development, but among a variety of themes, Antti is currently especially interested in adaptive re-use of buildings.
Next to his project-related work, Antti is involved in academic activities. He is regularly invited to lectures, selection commissions, and juries. Antti is a professor at Aalto University and has been a visiting professor in Architectural Design at Århus School of Architecture, Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen, and TU Vienna and collaborated also with the architecture schools of UCLA, MIT, Columbia, Yale, Keio, and Tokyo. He was recently a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Donghua Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation. Antti bikes throughout the year and sails in the summer.
TEAMAlexander Arregui, Niko Cederlöf, Michelangelo D’Ettorre, Laura Dorfmüller, Lauri Eklund, Helena Frigola, Luis Hilti, Anne Honkasalo, Sisko Hovila, Josip Jerković, Tanja Karthaus, Noora Kassinen, Jonathan Kischkel, Bence Komlósi, Filipe Magalhães, Claudia Marti, Sara Martinez, Charlotte Nyholm, Carin Ollinen, Beatrice Rosenkranz, Wioleta Salamon, Lauri Salminen, Roberto Schumacher, Yanghao Shu, Franziska Singer, Stefanie Sixt, Alexandra Smith, Erin Swift, Marina Tsintzeli, Ina Weber, Linda Wiksten, Olga Virtanen Ramos, Olli Vuorinen, Guillaume Yersin
AWARDS AND PUBLICATIONS
Helsinkizurich has been featured widely by the press around the world, including Monocle, AIT, Divisare, FRAME, Arkkitehti, Hochparterre, designtoimisto, yellowtrace, Dezeen, Archdaily, designboom and many more print and online media, as well as TV programs. helsinkizurich and their work have been recognised by a number of international design awards.