Pirjo Sanaksenaho

Pirjo Sanaksenaho

D.Sc (arch)

  • Phone+358505714900
  • Otakaari 1 X, 02150 Espoo


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Personal profile

Artistic and research interests

Person profile

My teaching field is designing of public buildings. Architecture of schools, day care centers, cultural buildings, offices and social and healthcare buildings and hybrids are in the focus of the tecahing. I'm director of SOTERA institue, which is a research institute at the department of architecture dealing with social and health care facilities. I'm as well responsible as academic leader for Living+ platform, a multidisciplinary research platform for human centered living environments. I used to teach housing design before I became profesor of builiding design, so the questions concerning housing are also close to my heart.
Modularity and especially new modular learning environments are special research interest of mine. My own doctoral dissertation was about single-family houses and ideals for living in 1950-1960's. My aim is also to strengthen the collaboartion between artists and architects and I have organised some common courses for art students and architecture students.
The societal impact of architecture is important for me and I'm active in professional networks, like in the Association of Finnish Architects SAFA and the governmental board of Museum of Finnish Architecture as chairman. I like to attend the public discussion on architecture and construction industry both in social media and in other forums.


My background is in practice. I've been a partner at Sanaksenaho Architects ltd. since 1997. Our office has designed students housing, elderly homes, day care center, private villas and public buildings like ecumenical chapel in Turku and student health care center YTHS in Helsinki. We have had projects also in China. Sanaksenaho Architects was invited to CIPEA - China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture in Nanjing in 2004 and ORDOS 100 in Inner Mongolia in 2008 and to a competition on Sino-Finnish Center in Nanjing in 2016. Sanaksenaho Architects has been invited to Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2004 "Metamorph" exhbition in Arsenale and Italian pavilion and our projects have been presented in common exhibitions in Nordic pavilion in 1996 and 2012. Sanaksenaho Architects' projects have been published widely in international architectural magazines, both printed and online.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctoral degree, Architecture, Aalto University

Award Date: 31 Dec 2017

Master's degree, Architecture, Helsinki University of Technology

Award Date: 26 Jan 1993

External positions

partner, Sanaksenaho Arkkitehdit Oy

2 Jan 1997 → …


  • Arkkitehtuuri
  • Hyvinvointirakentaminen
  • Koti
  • Asuminen
  • Sotera
  • Asuntosuunnittelu
  • Rakennussuunnittelu
  • Julkiset rakennukset


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