Arto Ollila / Aalto University / School of Arts, Design & Architecture / Department of Architecture
Competition: “Western Gateway”
Location: Koivusaari, Helsinki, Finland
“Fokka” is the winning concept in a student competition held in 2011 among all architecture schools in Finland. The task was to design a new landmark building in Koivusaari area, the most western part of Helsinki, using new and innovative steel structures.
The competition was organized by Helsinki city planning office and steel product company Ruukki. Koivusaari is one of the new areas under development in Helsinki, World Design Capital 2012.
Original idea by the city planning office had several different towers for different functions. “Fokka” mixes these functions and proposes a new dense and hybrid city block. Lower floors are open plans with multi-purpose spaces. Apartments and hotel are located on top of the retail and cultural podium. Building is directly connected to the public transport system of Helsinki.
The inner yard of the block is covered with tensile steel and glass structure to extend the usage in harsh and cold finnish weather conditions. Cover of the building also minimizes the exterior envelope surface and helps in direct sun light management.
Jury’s comments regarding the proposal:
“The basic concept of the winning entry is professional, sovereign and innovative. “FOKKA” is based on a logical research of the surrounding city structure and proposes carefully examined functions. The outcome takes the surroundings beautifully into consideration. It is contemporary, poetic and sculptural hybrid building. The proposal creates a new kind of public spaces. “FOKKA” is architecturally high quality, elegant and insightful concept.”