Terra Cultura – Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre, international competition entry, Jyväskylä, Finland (1997)

Terra Cultura – Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre, international competition entry, Jyväskylä, Finland (1997)

Part of


  • Johan Bettum (archive creator)
  • OCEAN North (architectural firm)
  • Kivi Sotamaa (collaborator)
  • Bonsak Schieldrop (collaborator)
  • Kim Baumann Larsen (collaborator)
  • Markus Holmstén (collaborator)
  • Lasse Wager (collaborator)
  • Vesa Oiva (collaborator)
  • Hein van Dam (collaborator)


Terra Cultura – Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre, international competition entry, Jyväskylä, Finland (1997)

Dates of creation


Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 215 digital files (72 MB)

Scope and Content

Project records document the design process for OCEAN North’s competition entry for the Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre in 1997. The project was titled Terra Cultura by OCEAN North.

The competition was to create a multi-usage space that would include a venue for the symphonic orchestra, a music school, exhibition spaces and the possibility to host a variety of small cultural events in the Finnish city of Jyväskylä. The proposed site is in the center of the town, across the street from the Jyväskylä city church and its park, and nearby buildings designed by Alvar Aalto.

OCEAN North’s concept presents a topological surface as an extension of the surrounding urban scape with two masses that would host the formal functions of the building (concert hall, music school, exhibition halls). The two volumes, or raised blocks, are divided along a diagonal elevated space, which is the extension of the ground’s topological surface filled and dubbed “Liquid Flow Space” by the design team.

In their interview with Greg Lynn, Johan Bettum and Kivi Sotamaa mentioned that the idea for Jyväskylä was that it was a cloud. To reach this goal, the team used CAD software to trace streams of particles as a modelling approach. The masses of linear elements that were generated were further deconstructed and turned into “peels” and rearranged to create the masses of the building. Physical models were also used to test and further what had emerged from the digital design process, with results being fed back into the digital drawings. During the process, Bettum also brought in the idea of the internalisation of the outside, taking inspiration from the Centre Georges Pompidou.

Digital records document the creative process with raster and vector images, CAD drawings and models, and few digital textual records describing the project and the program charts. Drawings and models show site and building plans, perspectives and sections; particles streaming and resulting linear masses; peels and sections identified per color; and renderings of aerials, perspectives and elevation views.

OCEAN North seems to have mostly used Microstation for modelling, although there are a few files created with form*Z and 3D Studio. Some of the raster images might have been created with these software as well, showing a given stage of the design process and including renderings. There are also screen captures showing the top, front, left and perspective views of 3D models. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator were also used to create and modify drawings and diagrams. Program charts were created in Microsoft Excel.


Softspace: from a representation of form to a simulation of space, Edited by Sean Lally and Jessica Young. London, New York: Routledge, 2007.

Greg Lynn, ed. Archaeology of the Digital 17: OCEAN North, Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre, Montréal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2017. ePub.

Reference Number



Material from this project was arranged by the creator and has been kept in its original order.


Jyväskylä Finland

Language of material


Related units of description

  • OCEAN North was invited by the Venice Architectural Biennale to present the project in 2004. This led to a second and third phase of the project, led by Michael Hensel with the participation of Kivi Sotamaa, since Johan Bettum was no longer part of the collective. Resulting models and documentation are part of the Orléans FRAC Centre (France) collection.


  • Actions:
    See more Close
    • Reference Number: AP194.S1.1997.PR02.001
    • Title: Drawings, models and documentation for the Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre Competition
    • Dates of creation: 1997-1998
    • Form: models, born digital, drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 0


    • Johan Bettum (archive creator)


    File consists of the content from a Zip disk labelled "Jyväskylä #1". Most common file formats: Encapsulated PostScript File Format, Adobe Illustrator, Tagged Image File Format, Microstation CAD Drawing, JPEG File Interchange Format

    Quantity / Object type:

    1 File

    Extent and Medium:

    • 215 digital files (72 MB)

    Credit line:

    Johan Bettum OCEAN North project records,
    Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Johan Bettum/
    Gift of Johan Bettum


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