The technology centre Innopoli 1 was built near the Otaniemi campus in Espoo, to serve as a link between science, research, product development and business. The architectural character of the building was influenced by both the heavy traffic and dynamism of the nearby Ring Road and by the traditional red brick of Otaniemi.
The extensive surface area has been divided into independent office units by a long connecting corridor forming the skeleton of the building and expanding into contact areas between the units into oases with lifts. The heart of Innopoli 1 is the big glass-covered central hall, onto which open two auditoriums seating 120 and 50 people each. The restaurant and cafeteria are near the entrance to the hall, with businesses and corporate services for tenants on the other side.
The central hall is 27 metres high with a diameter of 22 metres. It can be used for large gatherings and exhibitions. The hall area can be expanded by opening the curved back wall of the smaller auditorium. The work of art on the stone floor was designed by sculptor Martti Aiha. The seven administration and conference rooms are round a glass cylinder.
In accordance with the wishes of the tenants, the office facilities were made as adaptable as possible. Natural materials and wood framed glass walls form a basic environment which allows a number of different interiors: open plan, combination or traditional offices.
A common feature to all units is the services shaft, which forms the skeleton of the structure and around which the cloakroom, and sanitary, cleaning and kitchen facilities are located.
The working space need not to be used only for offices: all units are equipped with installation ducts placed in the access floor and can thus be converted for laboratory or other use. Innopoli also comprises workshop facilities for the construction of models and prototypes.
There are three saunas, two of them at the top of the building. The sauna facilities can be used for negotiations and PR purposes.The structural frame of the Innopoli building is steel and the floors are hollow slab, with the exception of the oases and the surroundings of the central hall, which were cast in situ.
The primary elevation materials are ceramic tile and red brick. The office unit façade repeats a screen-like processor pattern.
The principal architect of Innopoli 1 was Kaarina Löfström. She was assisted by Kalle-Pekka Virtanen, Oili-Mononen-Kelle, Jutta Haarti-Katajainen, Markku Kolehmainen, Laura Arpiainen, Jussi Takkinen, Ari Aho, Ilkka Karppanen, Kari-Pekka Ritolammi, Eva Fagerlund, Arja Korhonen, Sari Lehtinen, Matti Linko, Esa Piispanen, Jonathan Moorhouse and Merja Toivanen. Antti Paatero, Pertti Metsälampi and Tiina Myller were in charge of the interior design. The planning started in 1988 and the building was completed in 1991.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 4/1991