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Sitra, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Ruoholahti, Helsinki, Finland, 2000

Sitra, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Baltic Square Tower

Client: Finnish National Fund for Research and Development Sitra, Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company, YIT Corporation
Location: Ruoholahti, Helsinki, Finland
Year of completion: 2000
Gross area: 32 155 m²
Volume: 142 000 m³

This entity, comprising offices, a café, and a shop, is located in the core of the new Ruoholahti area in Helsinki, which within a short time has grown into an important centre of IT companies and expertise. The building also acts as a significant landmark over a wider area of the city and as a townscape node, with clear elements according to the theory of Kevin Lynch.

The surroundings, and the design’s emphasis of sustainable development and ecology set by the objectives of the users led to a combination of Cor-Ten steel and refined steel in the facade materials.

Innovative use was made of steel in the structure, from the frame to the details. This related to a common technology development programme for the production chain and the structural details used will be published as general design guidelines. Energy saving and the durability of the envelope are promoted by a double façade, carried on Cor-Ten sections and stiffened by acid-resistant steel bars. The construction also substantially attenuates traffic noise.

Functionally, the accommodation is divided into two different types. The offices of the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (SITRA) are organized as small units, while the operations of Price Waterhouse Coopers require extensive floor area with varying combinations of rooms and open spaces. Our architects also designed the interior. Important partners in creating prestige accommodation for SITRA were joiners from Fiskars, which whom we discussed the joints and wood species for the furnishings, designed chair and desks, and developed a new type of joint for the log sauna, based on entirely flat runs of logs.