Finnish student Arto Ollila at Helsinki's Aalto University recently won an annual architecture competition with his striking pyramid-shaped glass and steel "Fokka" tower, which contains a massive indoor garden. Sustainably designed and located in a dense urban space connected to public transportation, this concept for a new mixed-use project looks like a stellar combination of nature and architecture. The competition was organized by the Helsinki city planning office and steel product company Rukki.
Each year the Helsinki city planning office and Ruukki hold a design competition for a new and innovative building made from steel. This year’s design called for a mixed-use development that combines office, residential and hotel facilities in the Koivusaari area, the most western part of Helsinki. Arto Ollila proposed the winning concept, which rises like a mountain and encases all the programs within a glass and steel outer shell. The lower floors hold space for retail, commercial and office facilities, while the upper floors hold the hotel and residential units.
Situated in a dense urban area, Fokka is sited conveniently next to a stop for Helsinki’s public transport system. Ollila designed a large indoor urban park that connects all of the programatic elements together under one roof. The glass shell is optimized to allow for natural daylighting without overheating the interior and integrated solar panels generate power for the project. With a focus on sustainable design, Fokka could become not only a recognizable landmark for the city, but also a model for future development.
Images ©Arto Ollila