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Ilmarinen Headquarters
Ruoholahti, Helsinki, Finland, 2002

Ilmarinen Headquarters

Client: Limited company SRV Viitoset Oy
Location: Ruoholahti, Helsinki, Finland
Year of completion: 2002
Gross area: 56 900 m²
Volume: 256 650 m³

Helin & Co Architects was assigned to carry out a High Tech Centre in Ruoholahti, Helsinki. Nokia became interested in the project since the location and the preliminary design suited them. The project - e.g. the sizes of the departments, assembly rooms, and internal connections - was developed to meet the needs of the future owner. However, when the construction was nearly completed, Nokia decided to sell the real estate to the insurance company Ilmarinen.

The architectural challenge of the project was to adapt the large building volume to the built-up environment, to the difficult traffic conditions of the crossroads location, and to the peaceful milieu of the Hietaniemi Cemetery and the Lapinlahti Hospital nearby.

The façade materials include glass, enamelled cobalt blue steel cassettes, corrugated steel sheets and baked aluminium slats. The blue vertical surfaces of the staircases and lift towers alternate with steel-grey horizontal office façades. The courtyard walls between the building sections, as well as the visible walls of the tunnels, are made of slate. The double façade on the west and south sides reduces both cooling capacity needs and traffic noise from the streets.

The reception area at the main entrance opens up into a large glass lobby, 30 x 40 sq m in area and with a ridge height of 30m. The lobby contains an auditorium seating 198 people, as well as a cafeteria. Another lobby of equal dimensions serves as the staff canteen. The lift towers and glass stairs leading to the glass bridges are at the end of the lobbies. The office floors (2nd-5th floors), which are connected by the lift towers and glass bridges, are divided into ca 700 sq m units, which may function without disturbing one another. They are open-plan offices, which may be divided into separate workrooms by system partition walls.

In the offices the original user wished an indirect lighting system: electric pillars standing on the floor having 1 to 4 lamps which positions can be varied according to the furniture, and which reflect upwards through the light coloured ceiling. Nokia’s contribution to the space flexibility made it possible to adjust the needs of Ilmarinen within a short schedule.