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  • Makers: Manthey Kula

    The architectural office Manthey Kula of Oslo, Norway, was established in 2004 by Beate Hølmebakk and Per Tamsen. Now you have a unique opportunity to come and listen to them as part of the Wood Talk event. Wood Talk is held 4.9.2015 5PM in Fiskars.In addtition to Beate and Per, Knut Wold is also telling us about his work and Juhani Pallasmaa will be moderating the discussion. The event is free but please note that the space is limited so reserve your seat for talk and buss (if needed) latest 1.9. by sending a email  to welovewoodstalks (at) But now here`s a little sneak peak to the world of Manthey Kula.

    Tell us little bit about yourself

    Beate: I am a somewhat private person, so I find it a hard to talk about myself. I can easily talk about our work, or other peoples work for that matter, but I like to keep my own person out of the discussion. I like life - that is to be surrounded by it: children, friends, animals..., and I fear death - so much so that I refuse to think of it. 

    Per:  I moved to Oslo 20 years ago from the southern part of Sweden to finish my architectural education. The way wood in particular was used in buildings here and how materials and construction are not hidden away but expressed in beautiful and straightforward detailing was a sensational discovery for my learning about architecture, and it still is. I would say coming here opened up my eyes and pointed out a great interest in the tectonics in architecture.
    How did you end up working together?
    We got married and found out that life and work went hand in hand.
    What kind of material is the wood for you?
    It is beautiful, diverse, light, strong, natural, renewable and maybe most important: easy to form compared to many other materials. Besides that;  it often smells good...
    How would you describe the way you work?
    We start out following an intuition, then there is a long and slow process of discussing and evaluating every possible issue over and over and over again. We often build big scale models in order to study different aspects of the form we are working with.
    If you were not architects what would you do?
    Beate: I wish I had it in me to be a writer. It must be fantastic to be able to move people without using physical means. I grew up reading Jules Verne and I think my encounter with his written worlds was my first architectural experience.
    Per:  When I was really small I wanted to be Robin Hood or one of his assistants. To be able to make your own bow and arrows so that they worked perfectly together fascinated me. For many years now I have wanted to play the Cello.
    Do You have any role models?
    Beate:  I am still wondering what role to fill, so I dot think I can say that I have a role model. However I have a deep admiration for the late american architect John Hejduk; for his spirit and integrity.
    Per:  I guess that would be Robin Hood.

    The most important items to you?

    Beate: That depends on the situation! I know what I like and I immediately recognize it when I see something I like, but it is really hard to pick out one item over another. Sometimes the most important item is that which I don't have at hands.
    Per:  Anything heavy!

    What are working on now?
    Right now we are working on some private commissions and a project for the National Tourist Routes. 
    The event is part of  Helsinki Design Weekin program. Scandinavia's largest design festival Helsinki Design Week will be held from 3 to 13.9.2015.