We strive to design buildings that become part of their environment.
Instead of relying on ready-made formulas, we create one-of-a-kind buildings that not only exist as solitary objects but grow into organic elements of their surroundings. We work towards understanding not only the location we are designing for but also the people who will be living together with the buildings.
Rooted in collaboration
Long-term architectural partners Ilmari Lahdelma and Rainer Mahlamäki founded LM in 1997. Their work is a continuum of Finnish design, with a focus on sustainability, high-quality materials and attention to detail—qualities that come together with cutting-edge technologies and techniques. Both Lahdelma and Mahlamäki are internationally recognised and lauded architects, professors and lecturers.
Our role is to translate our experience and theories, however ambitious, into understandable spaces that make up someone’s everyday life.
The most important thing is to know why you’re designing, who you’re designing for and where they come from; to forget preconceptions and approach each commission with a fresh pair of eyes, ready to learn.
Over the years the studio has become synonymous with high-quality, socially aware design, and renowned for its deep understanding of the impact of history, location and the human touch.
Experience and technology
On top of the years' worth of experience and architectural intuition, LM are heavily invested in using the best of today's technologies to drive designs - right from the beginning of the design process. Pencil drawing, model making and virtual reality simulation go hand in hand here, each one playing a crucial but different role in realising a design.
The studio has two Tekla BIM awards under its belt, for Derby and Easton, two projects which pushed the technologies to their limits. These tools now come as standard in the design process, giving the team new ways to design and represent with each project.
Lahdelma & Mahlamäki
Ilmari Lahdelma strives to create architecture that speaks to its end users and is fascinated by the ways society and environment make their way into architecture. He designs buildings that respect their social functionalities; schools that reconsider how students interact and libraries that become the focal point of the entire city.
Having mentored many of today’s emerging young Finnish architects, Ilmari, who is now a Professor – and was previously Head of the Architecture Department – at the Tampere University of Technology, is one of the pillars of the Finnish architecture community. In addition to his academic work, he sits on the editorial board of the respected Arkkitehti magazine.
Ilmari founded Lahdelma & Mahlamäki architects together with Rainer Mahlamäki in 1997. Their collaborations began well before this, with the founding of the architecture collective 8 Studio in 1986, and Kaira-Lahdelma-Mahlamäki Architecture office in 1992.
Rainer Mahlamäki’s representative designs are a product of his belief in the importance of understanding each commission’s backstory. He strives to understand the people he designs for, the landscape he is altering, and the history he is representing. Whether museums or homes, his designs are rooted in a deep understanding and speak for themselves.
Rainer has been ever-present within Finland’s education and architecture institutions. He is former Professor of Contemporary Architecture at the University of Oulu, chaired the Board of the Museum of Finnish Architecture from 2002 to 2006 and was President of Finnish Association of Architects from 2007 to 2011.
Aside from his projects, Rainer frequently acts as a juror for high-profile international architecture competitions. His pioneering international achievements were recognised in 2017 when he was awarded the prestigious Prince Eugen Medal by the King of Sweden.
Rainer founded Lahdelma & Mahlamäki architects together with Ilmari Lahdelma in 1997. Their collaborations began well before this, with the founding of the architecture collective 8 Studio in 1986, and Kaira-Lahdelma-Mahlamäki Architecture office in 1992.
Petri has been at LM since 2001 and has been responsible for a huge range of projects both in Finland and globally. Seventeen years in, his influence now reaches across the full spectrum of LM’s work. In the studio his roles range from project oversight and management, to business development and international outreach. Petri firmly believes in the value of international collaboration and has been integral to developing LM’s global image and reputation.
Petri specialises in both the design of learning environments and the integration of technology into the design process, things such as BIM and virtual reality. He was heavily involved in the hugely successful Kastelli School and Community Centre and is currently working on a new campus for the Metropolia University in Helsinki and a Jewish Museum in Seduva, Lithuania.
Outside of his work, Petri embodies the Finnish outlook on wellbeing and is dedicated to finding moments of stillness in the midst of daily turbulence – that’s when he’s not meditating or on his hour-long cycle to work.
Teemu is LM’s longest standing team member and over the years has been integral to building up the studio’s portfolio. With his wide experience he plays an important role in the running and managing of the works within the whole studio. Recently he has concentrated on large complex projects, such as a multipurpose centre in Oulu, Metropolia University’s Myllypuro campus in Helsinki and the new office hub for Helsinki City’s urban environment departments.
When not at work, Teemu continues his passionate relationship with contemporary art and architecture. Always on the pulse of current affairs and trends, Teemu is frequently travelling with his family, experiencing the finest that the design world has to offer.