Töölö Bay – a premium location
Helsinki’s Töölö Bay area has a new look: it now offers business premises and homes to demanding customers. Transportation is made easier by an underground parking facility.
In 2010, Lemminkäinen and the developer Etera won the plots of three blocks in Töölö Bay in a site allocation competition. This marked the start of one of the largest construction projects in Finland. The first building, the Alma Media head office, was completed next to the railway tracks in 2012. The building’s large floors facilitate open plan office solutions and close internal cooperation.
KPMG’s office building next to the railway station was completed in 2014. This colourful eye-catcher of a building has a 200-metre-long wavy facade. In 2013, the building was selected as the best building construction site in a competition arranged by Rakennuslehti, a Finnish construction industry magazine. The review highlighted the quality of work and the attention paid to safety – after all, the building is located right next to the railway tracks and several other construction sites.
An office building for Ernst & Young was completed in 2014 at the northern edge of the area. An increasingly mobile and flexible working culture requires premises that are adaptable, which improves their utilisation rate.
Long-term business premises solutions
“This is a unique opportunity to construct new buildings in a premium location in the heart of Helsinki. We believe these buildings will have a stable value and yield, which is important for us as a pension fund,” says Hannu Tarkkonen, Managing Director of Etera.
“We are committed to increasingly promoting sustainable development and eco-efficiency in our property investments. The office buildings in the Töölö Bay area are fully compatible with this objective,” Tarkkonen adds. All of the buildings meet the criteria for international LEED environmental certification.
The new business premises represent timeless, high-quality architecture. The multispace concept and quality materials ensure that the premises are highly adaptable and will be usable far into the future.
City centre homes in a premium location
Töölö Bay is also a residential area. Aalto, an apartment block with 22 units, was completed in 2013. In May 2014, a further 15 apartments were completed in the Alvar apartment block. The third, Arietta, is also comprised of 15 apartments and will be ready to move into in June 2014.
The unique location of the three buildings in a landscape of high cultural significance was a major factor in their design. The residences meet the highest standards and are designed to be comfortable in all four seasons. The apartments are fitted out to high specifications, and the buildings’ facades are part plastered brickwork, part natural stone. The walls are very sturdy and the floors have a high level of sound insulation. The apartments have floor heating as well as adjustable air conditioning and cooling via the district cooling network. High-quality cabling ensures reliable and fast network connections, while the building automation is based on the latest technology in areas such as the lift systems. The buildings also have parking for cars and bicycles.
Lemminkäinen’s own residential developments use either renewable energy or district heating. In addition to having lower living costs and supporting environmental responsibility, an energy-efficient home is very comfortable to live in: there is no draught, the temperature is stable and the indoor air quality is high.
Parking facility and air raid shelter
Lemminkäinen has done a substantial amount of underground work in the Töölö Bay area. Buildings constructed on the former seabed require careful foundation work and watertight excavations. Lemminkäinen’s expertise in infrastructure construction already came into play earlier, when the company built an underground parking facility and air raid shelter in the Töölö Bay area. Completed in 2012, P-Finlandia is a clearly laid out and easy-to-use parking facility. It has room for 650 cars, an air raid shelter with capacity for 3,800 people as well as maintenance facilities. The project was particularly challenging due to the vicinity of tunnels and significant buildings, such as the National Museum of Finland. The architecturally and culturally valuable surroundings needed to be taken into consideration both during construction and in the outcome of the project. There was a strong focus on making the facilities comfortable and easy to maintain. We carried out the project as a turnkey contract and managed to remain below the target costs.
Our previous projects in the area include the Finnish National Opera, the Holiday Inn, contracts for VR in the railway yard and the station, as well as the renovation of Villa Kivi in the Linnunlaulu district.
Construction in city centres requires professional project management and paying particular attention to safety in the area. The organisation of the Töölö Bay construction site, as well as the work itself, including machine use and transport in an area next to a busy pedestrian route and the railway tracks, call for careful planning and scheduling.
The work is organised to minimise disturbance to traffic and the surrounding environment. During the construction projects, we have engaged in close cooperation with City of Helsinki offices, the Finnish Transport Agency as well as area businesses, organisations and residents.