Text description provided by the architects. The building is located in a transformational environment where the surrounding area’s industrial sites are being converted to residential use. Because Vantaa Energy’s site faces streets on three sides, any buildings on the site are highly visible from many different directions. The designed entity consists of three parts: 1) a 3-storey renovated office block built in the 1980s, 2) a new 3-storey office structure, 3) a new glazed single-story joint section. The renovated section’s basement contains mechanical equipment rooms as well as a civil defence shelter and a fitness gym and sauna suite.
Placing the office masses parallel to the streets on the site’s northern and eastern edges enables the Peltolantie side to maximise the architectonic effect of the spacious and impressive entrance plaza and its dominant feature, the main entrance’s glazed triangle, as well as a large and magnificent Manchurian Ash tree, still in excellent condition, that had stood in the atrium courtyard of the demolished 1970s building. Particular attention has been paid to the site’s parking area and the exceptional townscape image qualities of the pedestrian route’s border areas on the south side of Peltolantie by using tree rows and cobblestone themes rhythmically.
The functionally and visually cohesive combination of the renovated section and extension is a compact entity that intentionally blurs the distinction between old and new. Situated at the junction between the masses, a spacious and well-lit glass-roofed entrance and elevator foyer functions as a connective element. At the entrance foyer, various kinds of customer meetings can be held in conference rooms and in connection with the restaurant; short meetings are easily arranged in a furnished section of the foyer. The exposed steel structure supporting the sloped glass roof constitutes the lobby’s most expressive theme.
Besides the entrance foyer, the 1st floor contains customer service facilities, an 80-seat restaurant, as well as dressing and shower rooms for in-house staff and field personnel, who also have their own entrance and servicing door accessed through a fenced yard. The building’s waste management facilities and kitchen servicing areas are located on the northern side of the new wing. Office facilities are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Office layouts are based on a multi-purpose concept and room programme generated from interviews with users. Although approximately 180 employees work in the building, 20% of the staff have designated workspaces. Architectural, interior and mechanical engineering design has paid particularly close attention to workplace amenability.
The building’s external appearance results from the creative interplay between three different materials – Corten steel, glass, metal panels – and their surface treatments. The dominant facade motif is formed by Corten steel panels, perforated at three different densities, surrounding the building at a distance of 30 cm from the outer skin; the ribbon-like bands also function as sunscreens. The irregular perforation pattern and Corten steel’s pleasantly warm colour shade result in attractive and expressive facades. At the south facade, electricity-generating solar panels clad the stair tower.