Kivi Sotamaa OCEAN North project records

Kivi Sotamaa OCEAN North project records

Part of


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


Kivi Sotamaa OCEAN North project records

Dates of creation



  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 776 digital files (1.45 GB), 57 photograph prints, 56 drawings, 2 models and 3 CDs

Scope and Content

The Kivi Sotamaa OCEAN North project records, 1997-2000, consists of records related to two OCEAN North projects to which Kivi Sotamaa contributed: the Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre (1997) and the Töölö Football Stadium (1997), both Finnish international architectural competitions.

Project records document parts of the conceptual work and design development for the Jyväskylä and the Töölö projects in the form of physical drawings, models, photograph prints and digital files. Design for both projects was propelled by the use of CAD software. For the Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre, particle streaming was used to define the building’s internal volumes and its integration with the site. For the Töölö Football Stadium, Channelling Systems defined the integration and interaction of environmental variables into the structure’s design.

For both competitions, preliminary digital modelling occurred in Oslo, with Johan Bettum’s team, and design was further developed with Sotamaa’s Helsinki team, during intensive work sessions. Design development was then an iterative process occurring between digital and physical models.

Digital files in the archive are mostly raster and vector images of architectural drawings, including screen captures and renderings of drawings made with CAD software. Records also include a few drawings in native CAD formats (3D Studio, form*Z and Microstation) and program charts and analysis.

Project digital records also include two portfolios prepared by OCEAN North as press material. They contain additional documentation for Jyväskylä and Töölö, as well as digital reference material, images and textual records, on 14 other OCEAN North’s projects from1996 to 2000.

Physical materials consist of sketches for both the Jyväskylä and the Töölö projects. These were mainly drawn to scale and include some printouts of CAD drawings for Töölö. Photograph prints depict two models made for the Jyväskylä competition, one of which is part of Sotamaa’s records at CCA.


In 1994 Tom Verebes, Michael Hensel, Ulrich Königs and Boštjan Vuga met at the Architecture Association (AA) in London and started working together under the name OCEAN doing experimental and interdisciplinary research on urban design and architecture. As they geographically dispersed the following year, it became “OCEAN net” and other architects were invited to join the network, including Kivi Sotamaa.

In 1997 and 1998, the network evolved: OCEAN UK and OCEAN US began working together as OCEAN D, and members from Cologne, Helsinki and Oslo regrouped and worked under the name OCEAN North (or north) from 1998 to 2008. OCEAN North then restructured as a not-for-profit organization based in Norway, identifying itself as OCEAN Research Design Association.

Work from the various OCEAN groups and subgroups include projects for architectural competitions, exhibitions, publications and conferences.


Hensel, Michael. “Evolving Synergy: OCEAN Currents, Current OCEANs and Why Networks Must Displace Themselves.” Architectural Design: AD, vol. 76, no. 5, 2006, pp.104–108. doi:10.1002/ad.331

OCEAN design Research Association, “About OCEAN.” Accessed November 2017, http://www.ocean-designresearch.net/index.php/about-ocean-mainmenu-85/about-ocean

Ateljié Sotamaa. “Portfolio.” Accessed November 2017, http://portfolio.sotamaa.net/

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

Reference Number


Physical Description

Disks in this archive were created and used with Classic OS-era Mac computers and are formatted using Hierarchical File System (HFS). Files may be missing file extensions, as HFS handles file identification through file system metadata rather than extensions. Because HFS is no longer supported on contemporary computers, some forensic recovery is required to make the logical files from these disks usable on modern machines. Files were extracted to provide for access to researchers. Disk images were retained given the eventual possibility of accessing files in their original software environment with the use of emulators. This fonds contains a number of born-digital files in CAD and 3D modeling formats. Due to the complex and often proprietary nature of CAD formats, proper rendering and use of these files may require highly specific software. CCA’s dedicated Study Room CAD workstation is loaded with a wide but incomplete range of such software. For further information about services and software available for interacting with obsolete or niche file formats, please contact Collection Reference (ref@cca.qc.ca) and ask to speak with the Digital Archivist.


Digital records had been kept on CD and organized by Kivi Sotamaa or close collaborators of the OCEAN North projects. Files are grouped by project. CCA archivists arranged the materials in two series:

AP198.S1: Projects

AP198.S2: OCEAN North reference files

Physical records were described at file-level and grouped by project. Item-level descriptions were created for exhibition or conservation purposes.

Digital records were also described at file-level, with minor adjustments to their original order. Content from a CD was divided according to two of its main directories, namely Jyväskylä and Töölö. Furthermore, a few files, from another CD were added to these main directories for both projects in Series 1.

Biographical notes

Kivi Sotamaa, born in 1971, is a Finnish designer based in Helsinki who was part of the OCEAN North collective from 1995 to 2006. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki TAIK and has also studied at the Helsinki University of Technology and at the Royal College of London.

Sotamaa is a principal at Ateljé Sotamaa, a design firm founded with his sister Tuuli Sotamaa. He is the founder and Design Director of the Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory (ADD). He was also part of Aalto University Department of architecture focus group called Group X. Kivi Sotamaa was an Assistant Professor at the Knowlton School of Architecture of the Ohio State University from 2003 to 2006; a visiting Professor at the Institute of Architecture at Universität für Angewandte Kunst Vienna in 2006-2007; and an Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Urban Design of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) from 2007 to 2014.

While part of the OCEAN North network, Kivi Sotamaa was based in Helsinki, partnering with Markus Holmstén for the “Ultra Violet .O.C.E.A.N” office. They worked most often with Johan Bettum’s Oslo team.

Works by Sotamaa have been exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Henie Onstad Art Center, among others. His work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Phaidon 10x10, AA Files, and Finnish Architects.

Published materials include:

Hensel, Michael and Sotamaa, Kivi. “Vigorous Environment”, Architectural design, vol. 71, no. 1, 2002, pp. 34-41.

Sotamaa, Kivi. “Frozen Void: The Elegant Affect of the Evolved Object“, Architectural design, vol. 77, no. 1, 2007, pp.24-27.


Ateljé Sotamaa. “Who”. https://www.ateljesotamaa.net/about Last accessed in January 2018.

University of California Los Angeles, Department of Architecture and Urban Design. “Kivi Sotamaa, Adjunct Associate Professor”. http://www.aud.ucla.edu/faculty/kivi_sotamaa_24.html Last accessed in January 2018.

Aalto People, “Kivi Sotamaa,” https://people.aalto.fi/new/kivi.sotamaa, last accessed 19 August 2016.

Conditions governing access

  • Access by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • Gift of Kivi Sotamaa on 18 November 2015.

Custodial history

Prior to their transfer to the CCA, the material in this archive was kept in the personal possession of Kivi Sotamaa in Helsinki, Finland.

These records were acquired by CCA as part of the Archaeology of the Digital project. Selected items from the Terra Cultura – Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre were displayed in the show Archaeology of the Digital: Complexity and Convention, May-October 2016.

Archivist's note

  • A single-level record for this archive was created by Digital Archivist Tessa Walsh in July 2016. The archive was fully processed and described by Mireille Nappert, Digital Processing Archivist, in 2018.

Credit line

When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation:
Kivi Sotamaa OCEAN North project records,
Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.
When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.

Language of material

English, German, Finnish

Related units of description

  • As part of the Archaeology of the Digital series of exhibitions, interviews were conducted with the architects and published in an ePub format: Canadian Centre for Architecture. Archaeology of the Digital 17: OCEAN North, Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre, ed. Greg Lynn (2017), ISBN 978-1-927071-38-0. Additional records related to these OCEAN North projects can be found in AP194: Johan Bettum OCEAN North project records. Models related to a second phase of the Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre project, presented at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2004, are part of the permanent collection of the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France.

General note

  • In Series 1, digital files for the Jyväskylä Music and Arts Centre and the Töölö Football Stadium projects had last modified dates of 1957-03-06 or 1957-03-21. Records from this fonds and from Johan Bettum fonds show that the competitions took place in 1997. This difference is due to a technical issue affecting how file timestamps are interpreted by Unix time system. For preservation purposes, affected files dates were modified to 1970-01-01 00h00, which is “time 0” in Unix time system. Forward slashes (an allowable character in HFS but not in modern file systems) in filenames have been replaced with underscores. For some digital files in the archive, trailing spaces and diacritic characters were removed from file paths and file names using the command line utility Detox.

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