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Nokia Headquarters and Extension
Keilalahti, Espoo, Finland, 1997, 2001

Nokia Headquarters and Extension

Client: Nokia Corporation
Location: Keilalahti, Espoo, Finland
Year of completion: 1997, 2001
Gross area: 38 300 + 24 500 m²
Volume: 210 000 + 111 200 m³

The site remained the same. The tip of a wooden peninsula in the raggle of land and sea to the west of Helsinki at Espoo has been cut off by one of the motorways which slice across forested islands and open water. One reason for choosing the place was its proximity to the Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Otaniemi University of Technology (now part of the Aalto University).

The parti of the building is very strong and simple. Two rectangular atria are arranged on an axis which runs parallel to the shore. Triangles of office space are set on both sides of the atria, so creating two squares in plan which are linked by the entrance and glazed bridges. To the west, the main building is partly shielded from the motorway by the elegant grey arch of the three-storey car park; between the two is a calm entrance court. To the east, Nokia House looks over sea and islands towards the city; in front, there is a cycleway and promenade. The office triangles each offer about 1000 square metres of usable floor space and can accommodate between 40 and 80 people. Planning can be varied easily.

The extension to the Nokia Head Office became necessary due to the company’s rapid growth. Extra space was needed, some 16,500 sq m gross, equalling half the existing floor area, or room for approximately 700 employees. Nokia's senior management gave a clear design brief for the building: the extension should neither dominate nor be dominated by the existing building. The extension should be perceived as a part of the complex despite its differing geometry. So the choice of materials relates to the existing building: a concrete frame enclosed in a glass envelope supported by a uniform, extruded steel framework, extensive use of warm-coloured wood on the floor, ceiling, and interior wall surfaces, as well as trowel-finished paintwork applied to the stiffening concrete walls.

A semi-cylindrical atrium between the principal masses is used for dining, conferences, and festive events. The entrance area facilities, health care services, Brand Room (VIP showroom), auditorium, conference room, and kitchen are organised around the atrium space on the ground floor. The first floor is reserved for conference rooms and temporary office work units. The second floor and higher levels comprise offices. Energy conservation and durability were among the central design criteria, as they were for the existing part of the building.