SAFA

Pre-selection jury

The pre-selection jury has selected five candidates from amongst buildings that have been completed within the past three years. The prize may be awarded to either a Finnish or foreign architect or architectural practice for a project designed for a location in Finland, or to a Finnish architect or architectural practice for a project completed abroad. It will be awarded for an outstanding new building or group of buildings, or a renovation project.


Saija Hollmén, Chairperson of the Pre-selection Jury

Architect Saija Hollmén, SAFA, (b. 1970) is the Vice Dean for Art and Creative Practices at Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture and lectures at the university’s Department of Architecture. She is a founding member of the Aalto World in Transition Research LAB (WiTLAB), an interdisciplinary network focusing on humanitarian development and global responsibility. Hollmén has taught and lectured widely at universities around the world. Her research focuses on architecture as a sociocultural structure. 

Saija Hollmén is one of the founders of Hollmén Reuter Sandman Arkkitehdit Oy and Ukumbi ry. Ukumbi is a Finnish NGO offering architectural services to vulnerable groups, particularly in developing nations. The Ukumbi-designed Women’s Centre in Rufisque, Senegal, has received extensive attention internationally. Other Ukumbi projects include a domestic violence shelter in Moshi, Tanzania as well as halls of residence to support girls’ school attendance in the country’s Iringa region. Ukumbi received the Finnish State Prize for Art in 2009 in recognition for the organisation’s efforts to promote human-centred architecture in developing countries that is based on local practices and heritage. Together with her partners, Saija Hollmén has received several other accolades, including the Asko Avonius Prize in 2012, the Alfred Kordelin Prize in 2009 and the Pietilä Prize in 2002.


Panu Lehtovuori

Panu Lehtovuori is the Professor of Planning Theory at Tampere University, School of Architecture. Before the current position, he was the Professor of Urban Studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. Lehtovuori’s research is based on critical urban theory. His interests focus on public urban space, temporary uses and other contemporary forms of urban agency, conceptual design approaches and transformative view on the sustainability of the built environment. 

Lehtovuori is partner at SPIN Unit, an international R&D initiative for radical urban transformation, and at Nordic Urbanism, a start-up in continued professional education. He is permanent expert in the renewal process of the Land Use and Building Act.


Mona Schalin

Mona Schalin runs Kati Salonen ja Mona Schalin Arkkitehdit, first established in 2003. She specialises in the restoration and refurbishment of historic buildings and is widely recognised for her built heritage expertise. She recently oversaw the refurbishment of Serpentine House in Helsinki.  Designed by Yrjö Lindegren, it was originally built in the 1950s. Serpentine House won the Finlandia Prize for Architecture in 2019. It was additionally shortlisted for the Mies van der Rohe Award earlier this year and presented with the Docomomo Rehabilitation Award in 2021. 

Mona Schalin has taught architecture and the history of landscape architecture at Aalto University in Helsinki and at the Tampere University of Technology. She has also held the post of visiting professor at the Aarhus School of Architecture. She has published on a wide range of topics including planning, landscape architecture and the history of architecture as well as building conservation and urban development.   

Mona Schalin sits on the board of the Finnish Association of Architects and is also a member of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in Finland.


Tuomo Siitonen

Professor Tuomo Siitonen SAFA, (b. 1946) runs his own architectural practice in Helsinki. From 1993 until 2006, he served as Professor of Architecture at the city’s Aalto University and as director of the Research Group for Health and Wellbeing in Architecture (Sotera) linked to the chair. In addition, he has lectured widely and held visiting posts internationally. Commissions completed by Professor Siitonen’s practice include the Helsinki District Court building, Joensuu Library, Porvoo Library, the Moscow Finnish Embassy extension, housing in Leppäsuo and a range of other residential projects. Professor Siitonen also has experience of wood construction, notably the Fiskars artistic residence studio and the KWUM Ceramics Museum. He was awarded the Viljo Revell memorial prize in 1973, the Finnish State Prize for Architecture in 1976 and 2010, the International Brick Award in 2008 and the Concrete Structure of the Year Award in 1983 and 2009.