This pavilionesque wooden building lies on the perimeter of green campus grounds, its prominent aerofoil roof drawing people to its sheltered entrance. The Cor-huset student union building is the new heart of Arcada Polytechnic’s Arabianranta campus.
The building is open, spacious and flexible and conversion-friendly in design. The ground floor houses the union club facilities, a café and an outdoor terrace. A communal sauna and student union administration offices are located upstairs on the first floor. The suspended walkway leading to the sauna rooms doubles up as a stage during campus events.
The building is constructed using exclusively Finnish timber species. Glue-laminated columns support the roof’s glue-laminated trusses and create rhythm in the exterior and interior spaces. The floor is constructed from wood-concrete composite slabs.
The interior design materials emit both warmth and light. The curved birch ply ceiling passes unbroken from outside in, while lacquered pine plywood facings lend richness to the wall surfaces. The steps and hand rails of the stairway are oilwaxed birch. The window frames and doors are wooden.
The heat-treated and stained spruce louver slats running vertically on the exterior walls and large glazed surfaces generate translucence. The slate wall encircling the terrace leads to the building’s main entrance, materially linking the union building with the other buildings on campus.
The design is based on the winning proposal of a Nordic architecture student competition.
Project in brief
- Location | Arabia, Helsinki
- Purpose | Club house
- Constructor/Client | Stiftelsen Arcada, ASKen rf-Arcada Studerandekår
- Architectural Design | Arkkitehtitoimisto Ami Oja
- Structural design | Insinööritoimisto Ylimäki-Tinkanen
- Contractor | Haahtela-rakennuttaminen Oy and MM-Yritysrakentaja Oy
- Year completed | 2007
- Photographs | Kimmo Räisänen, A-kapula and Ami Oja
- Text | Ami Oja