ARCHITECTS RUDANKO + KANKKUNEN
Sra Pou vocational school is a training center and community building in Cambodia, designed by Architects Rudanko + Kankkunen from Finland built during spring 2011. The Sra Pou community is one of the unprivileged communities in Cambodia, who have been evicted from their homes in the city to the surrounding countryside. The project was started by young architects Hilla Rudanko and Anssi Kankkunen in an Aalto university design studio in spring 2010. Now, it is an adventurous architecture firm specializing in public buildings in various settings. The firm is part of Finnish humanitarian architecture NGO Ukumbi.
The school building is made out of local materials with local workforce. The aim was to teach people how to make the most out of the materials that are easily available, so that they can apply the same construction techniques for their own houses in the future.
Both Hilla and Anssi studied architecture at Aalto University (former Helsinki University of Technology) since 05 where they met, and started working together. Anssi impressed her with his modelmaking skills and his enthusiasm to learn and make things himself - it had to do with his former career as a magician. Hilla had a tremendous ambition and was active in several citizen organizations where she was used to getting impossible things done. In 2008, they headed to Switzerland - Anssi to work with Herzog de Meuron and Hilla to study at ETH Zürich, ( she ended up working at Herzog de Meuron, so they have plenty of influence from them). In 2009, Hilla headed to New York to work with Columbia university and a rising urban design firm Interboro Partners. Along with other experimental young firms from New York, Interboro has influenced her thinking of architecture and architect's role.
- Hilla: I use the internet quite pragamatically, as I prefer to spend time outdoors, talk to people and get new influences from them. But I do follow many architectural sites for professional knowledge. I like World Architecture News, as they send an interesting an compact newsletter every week or two, and they always write their from personal view about architectural projects, not just publish the facts.
- Anssi follows sites with lots of images: Dezeen, Archdaily and such "quick blogs". He is a real architecture blog user - I find him searching through blogs for new influences and concepts almost every evening.
- We both like to read traditional books: monographs, professinal books, fictive literature. As of literature, Anssi reads a lot of fantasy and philosophy, I read old classics and live along the fictive stories very strongly. I would love to identify as a storyteller also in my profession: every good building and place has a story, that is what people love in them.