Hanasaari Cultural Centre
- 900 m
The basic idea was to pack a large volume into a compact form in a manner that would leave the central characteristics of the Tapiola landscape intact. Vertically, the mass was articulated to match the horizontal skyline drawn by the woods. The plot is situated close to a motorway interchange; the curving multi-level car park shelter the yard and the main building. Between the sea and the building lies the pedestrian and bicycle way included in the city plan. The unique vistas towards the surrounding nature have contributed to the orientation of the spaces as well as the planning of the terraces.
Nokia Corporation acquired the plot from the City of Espoo in the early 1980s. The choice of location was based on its good transport communications as well as the presence of a nationally significant concentration of technological research facilities. The first invited competition for the planning of the project was arranged in 1983 and won by proposal called ‘Kide – Crystal’ by Pekka Helin and Tuomo Siitonen. The project was postponed, however, due to appeals against the city plan as well as fiscal decions. At the turn of the decade and in the early years of the 1990s Nokia’s operations and organizational structure changed from a conglomerate into those of a more specialized data communications company, while at the same time its turnover and staff numbers grew substantially. The options for increased space were re-examined through a second architectural competition in 1994/1995.
The leading objective for the design was to build a working environment for the new millennium that could inspire creative thinking and interaction. This has been achieved through a repetitive, easily altered spatial unit catering equally well for both individual and group working. Communication is enhanced through transparency between the different areas and spatial groupings and through the cellular landscape office and desk areas. A versatile and flexible working environment is achieved through the repetition of the basic spatial unit and the large number of options for the secondary spatial division. The plan is developed around a triangle of 1000 net square metres in which the number of restricting, fixed structures and installations has been kept to the minimum.
The choices of interior materials closely followed the goal of authenticity. Red-hued species of wood are used in large quantities to give warmth and calm to the hectic working environment. On the floors above ground level, the furniture, doors and wall elements are made of common alder and birch; the windows are framed with pinewood. On the ground floor, the durability of fixtures has been enhanced through the use of cherry tree and red oak. Steel features prominently in the filigree-like parts of the bearing and supplementary structures which are coated with a steel grey metallic colour. The stiffening vertical towers made of reinforced concrete have been given a greenish grey spatula treatment.
Natural lightning and the surrounding landscape have a special function within the interior architecture. The visible materials are recyclable, require little maintenance, and are durable: glass, acid-proof steel, and a small quantity of aluminium grille. The bearing grid structures of the atrium are made of steel, as are the structures of the intermediary section apart from the bridges made of glulam. The bearing structures of the office areas are of reinforced concrete: the concrete columns and beams as well as the planks and topping.
The building has the first double façade ever realised in the Nordic countries, marking a step towards more sustainable development. Passive means are used to save the energy needed for cooling during the summer and heating during the winter. The exterior thermal stress is relieved through the double façade, the interior stress through cooling beams and convectors. The air conditioning system incorporates an efficient heat exchanger (heat and cool air recovery), and the medium used is harmless to the ozone layer. Special attention has been given to the quality of the air, the minimizing of material emission, and the cleanliness of the channels.
The principal architect of the building was Pekka Helin. He was assisted by Erkki Karonen, Harri Koski, Mariitta Helineva, Jutta Haarti-Katajainen, Seija Ekholm, Kari Uusi-Heimala, Yrjö Wegelius, Anne Jylhä, Pertti Ojamies, Antti Laiho, Totti Helin, Tarja Hildén, Virpi Karonen, Titta Lumio, Kaarina Livola, Kirsi Pajunen, Katariina Takala and Sanna-Maria Takala.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 1/1998