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  7. Helsinki Seafarers' Centre / ARK-house Architects

Helsinki Seafarers' Centre / ARK-house Architects

  • 01:00 - 2 February, 2010
Helsinki Seafarers' Centre / ARK-house Architects
Helsinki Seafarers' Centre / ARK-house Architects, © Jussi Tiainen
© Jussi Tiainen

© Jussi Tiainen © Jussi Tiainen © Jussi Tiainen © Jussi Tiainen +26

From the architect. The plot for the projected Helsinki Seafarers´ Centre is situated by the main entrance to the Vuosaari harbour, on the northern corner of the area. In practice the building location is the only point in the whole harbour area that contains any natural forms and elements. As the only public building in the area, its role is to serve as a place of respite; a small multipurpose building for the seamen that arrive at the harbour form afar.

The starting point in a David and Goliath juxtaposition has required a carefully considered architectural strategy. The infinitely small volume of the Seafarers’ Centre was in danger of being completely dominated by the crushing hectare-sized steel warehouses, and the artificial landscape of tarmac fields and container seas. As a counter-point, a soft organic form language was chosen for the building, as well as a wood construction. The architecture of the building could be described as contextual in the wide sense of the word: the preserved hillock, with its trees and rocks, is an essential part of the architecture of the building.

© Jussi Tiainen
© Jussi Tiainen

The objective in the design of the building has been to create a unique identity, because in the best case scenario the distant traveler can take home a positive memory of something tantalizingly strange yet hospitable. The completely wooden structure and its compact shape are a homage to the building tradition based on the purposefulness of wooden ships and the aesthetics that spring form it, as well as a comment on the ecological challenges of the present. The premises offer both physical and spiritual nourishment: the spiritual word and composure, coffee, a laundry and computers. Particularly important are the cozy atmosphere and the simultaneous experience of familiarity and newness.

© Jussi Tiainen
© Jussi Tiainen

The wooden frame of the building and the laminated veneer lumber rafters have been reinforced by concrete walls cast onsite. The board lining of the southern exterior face has been diagonally interleaved, and the north-side profile consists of vertically slanted Norrwegian-style tongue-in-groove siding. The timber siding has been manufactured from lightly tinted Siberian larch.

© Jussi Tiainen
© Jussi Tiainen

The commissioners behind the project are the Finnish Seamen’s Mission and the Finnish Seamen’s Service, both of which have long traditions and an international history of supporting seafarers. The building has been consecrated as a church. The denominational aspect is brought out in a sensitive way, respectful of the religion and cultural background of each visitor.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Helsinki Seafarers' Centre / ARK-house Architects" 02 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/48267/helsinki-seafarers-centre-ark-house-architects/>
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23 Comments

Melanie Schönfeld · April 16, 2012

Got to love Finnish #architecture... I can&#39t wait to see it in real life later in the year http://t.co/mZLDu6Y6 #design #Finland

Elena Morozova · January 03, 2012

Helsinki Seafarers’ Centre / ARK-house Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/rcxblPNA via @archdaily

kubodo · December 08, 2011

this building look sustainable and concrete with luxurious interior designing

Barby Omodei · August 09, 2011

#arquitectura + #diseño Helsinki Seafarers’ Centre http://bit.ly/oipfHa via @archdaily

w chen · July 15, 2011

Very cool design.

???? ??????? · January 28, 2011

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Chris Veeneman · October 22, 2010

Helsinki Seafarers’ Centre / ARK-house Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/WLNuGvs via @archdaily

Jiyoung Kim · May 07, 2010

Reading: "Helsinki Seafarers’ Centre / ARK-house Architects | ArchDaily"( http://twitthis.com/2zb79i )

Architecture Topic · April 07, 2010

Architecture #Architecture: Helsinki Seafarers? Centre / ARK-house Architects... http://bit.ly/cCTPsw

Architecture Topic · April 06, 2010

Architecture #Architecture: Helsinki Seafarers? Centre / ARK-house Architects... http://bit.ly/bTAqVp

Graeme · March 02, 2010

- Beautiful, fantastic use of space, unique in identity. Lovit. http://tinyurl.com/yay3nk3 #fb

hl · February 05, 2010

such a romantic attack

Tiago · February 04, 2010

#Arquitetura e #Turismo - Helsinki Seafarers’ Centre / ARK-house Architects http://ow.ly/13qtz #architecture

Carlos D. Morales · February 03, 2010

(Disclaimer, I am not an architect but a lawyer -My mistake...-). Nice design. The shapes and forms, the use of wood and glass all together adds up for a place of spiritual nuances. It feels like flowing in the wind. On a downside, I agree with Michael in relation to the roof patterns. It feels too agressive.

Chris · February 03, 2010

The alignment of the wash of the lights and the cladding is a nice touch.

Ifthikhar · February 03, 2010

RT @KPInteriors: Helsinki Seafarers&#39 Centre / ARK-house Architects | ArchDaily http://bit.ly/djW7To

Fabiola Johann Braun · February 03, 2010

#arch #design Helsinki Seafarers&#39 Centre / ARK-house Architects http://bit.ly/djW7To (via @KPInteriors @ArchDaily )

Modern Zen Architecture · February 03, 2010

I like how the design doesn't fight the shape of the adjacent walk way. I also like the contrasting colors and materials...

Kerry Peterson · February 03, 2010

Helsinki Seafarers&#39 Centre / ARK-house Architects | ArchDaily http://bit.ly/djW7To

LOME · February 03, 2010

a lovely building and nice shot!

Taylor & Francis · February 03, 2010

RT: @archdaily Helsinki Seafarers’ Centre / ARK-house Architects http://bit.ly/c445UK

Panus D. · February 03, 2010

RT @archdaily: Helsinki Seafarers’ Centre / ARK-house Architects http://bit.ly/c445UK

Michael · February 03, 2010

I like the richness and texture of the larch cladding. I think it would have been nice if the materiality of those outer walls were expressed on the interior as well. As it stands, it's all a bit white for my taste. I think a larch wall inside would have made a very beautiful interior, but that's just my opinion.

As for the exterior, not sure how visible the roof is on a day-to-day basis (don't know where the aerial shot was taken from), but I find the angular pattern of the roofing material at odds with the curvilinear outer walls and internal planning.

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© Jussi Tiainen

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