Kaupunkiympäristötalo

The new building for the City’s urban environment departments - the Kaupunkiympäristötalo - will be located in the Kalasatama area of Helsinki, bringing the various divisions together under one roof. The area itself is undergoing complete reconstruction and the Lahdelma & Mahlamäki design will sit at the heart of the new metropolitan area.

Urban Environment Centre  Exterior 2
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1500 employees in 41,000m2 of new, optimised offices

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The ground floor of the new office hub will be largely open to the public, providing customer service facilities, exhibition spaces and a public restaurant. Along the façade of the building openings follow a strict grid but, where more public or social areas present themselves, the grid is broken by massive arches.

By opening the building to the public the chance is given for them to feel more involved in the development of their city. To a certain extent, it breaks down barriers between the institution and the citizen.

Urban Environment Centre Interior 1
By basing work activities around open communal spaces, between departments, we’re pushing towards a more open system of city management where communicating across departments is a natural process."

Project Details

  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
  • Year: Ongoing
  • Total area: 40,900m2
  • Client: City of Helsinki
  • Programme: Offices and public service facilities
  • 01Quick Facts
    • Brings the City of Helsinki’s urban environment departments under one roof
    • Large arches open up the public and social areas
    • Offers a noticeable transparency between the City and its citizens
    • Open activity-based work spaces encourage users to interact
    • Looks to make inter-departmental communication a natural process
  • 02Full Profile

    The new building for the City’s urban environment departments - the Kaupunkiympäristötalo - will be located in the Kalasatama area of Helsinki, bringing the various divisions together under one roof. The area itself is undergoing complete reconstruction and JKMM architects completed the feasibility studies for site of the Lahdelma & Mahlamäki design, which will sit at the heart of the new metropolitan area. Around 1,500 employees will move into the 41,000m2 of new offices which have been restructured to optimise both the working and social environment through creating an activity-based work environment. In practice this means making a switch to 1000 ‘hot-desks’, linking departments and activities around open communal spaces and interior 'streets', as well as placing green terraces throughout the building.

    The ground floor of the new office hub will be largely open to the public, providing customer service facilities, exhibition spaces and a public restaurant. Along the façade of the building openings follow a strict grid but, where more public or social areas present themselves, the grid is broken by massive arches. By opening the building to the public the chance is given for them to feel more involved in the development of their city. To a certain extent, it breaks down barriers between the institution and the citizen.

    “This new urban design hub gives another dimension of interaction between colleagues within these City departments,” tells Ilmari Lahdelma, co-founder of Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects. “By basing work activities around open communal spaces, between departments, we’re pushing towards a more open system of city management where communicating across departments is a natural process.”

    In typical Finnish tradition, high-level sustainability comes as standard. Solar panels and a lush green roof will top the building, whilst employees are encouraged to use public transport and bikes; over 500 cycle spaces are provided within the building. This follows a push by the City to move towards a more bicycle oriented transport system.

    Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects integrate innovative digital technologies into the design process of all their projects. The new hub for the City is no different. Multi-disciplinary BIM models and virtual reality workshops – which have involved many of the design and planning partners – were used heavily throughout the process so far, and will continue to be vital during the construction phase.

  • 03Credits

    Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects: Ilmari Lahdelma and Rainer Mahlamäki with Teemu Seppälä, Maritta Kukkonen, Mikko Lahti, Minja Hildén, Mia Salonen, Tomoyo Nakamura, Wing-Hang Chan, Olli Aarnio, Olli Tallbacka, Minna Lahdelma, Seija Serovuo, Jonne Ahvonen and Marek Grodzicki

  • 04Media Kit

    Download our Media Kit for publication material on the project, including images, drawings and texts. Downloads are password protected.

    To get the password, email jonne.ahvonen@lma.fi stating your name, organisation and reason for downloading our files.

    Terms and conditions of use are included in the Media Kit.

    Download