This wooden office building was originally designed almost forty years ago to meet the needs of a small architectural practice. As the practice grew, the building was extended – three times in all.
OFFICE BUILDING 1976. The architecture of the original building was made up of glued-laminated columns and beams. There was a raked façade protected by overhanging eaves, and a terrace was left at each end of the building in the last column bay. The flexible furniture system designed for the building is still in use.
STUDIO APARTMENT 1987. The interior of the studio is based on three elements: a cast-iron spiral staircase, a tiled wood-burning stove and a model of a wooden sailing boat. The nineteenth-century spiral staircase and the early twentieth-century stove were both rescued from demolished buildings. A glazed bay was constructed for the model boat, beside the entrance.
The studio, which faces northeast, has an inward-sloping window, whereas the kitchen has an outward-sloping window linking the interior space to the walled garden. Bathroom and sauna are at gallery level. A 3D model of the studio was constructed with such a high degree of precision that all the working drawings were developed from it.
EXTENSION 2008. New projects in China meant that it became essential to expand the office, so the covered terraces were converted into office space. A new window on the garden side of the studio provides a visual link from the office to the studio, which is nowadays also given over to office use.
STUDIO 2013. In the most recent restoration, the building was adapted to meet the demands of the contemporary working environment and to comply with current energy criteria. The roof insulation was upgraded and the roof covering was renewed. A plant room was constructed on the roof to house ventilation equipment, with an adjoining balcony. At the same time, a double-height atrium was opened up to allow daylight into the staff-room.
The atrium balustrade and staircase were constructed as joinery work from knot-free Effex blanks (93x306x6080mm). The balustrade acts as a load-bearing beam with the steps cantilevered out from it.
Roof-level structures follow the same structural system and details as the original 1970s building. The new cladding is in heat-treated wooden battens with the ventilation grilles concealed behind them. The battens also help cut down heat gain from the extensive glazed areas.
Project in brief
Architect’s studio Ison-Antintie 8
- Location | Marjaniemi, Helsinki
- Purpose | Office
- Architectural Design | PES-Architects Ltd.
- Structural design | PES-Architects Ltd.
- Pääurakoitsija | Helsingin sisustuspuu Oy
- Photographs | Klemen Breitfuss, Jari Jetsonen, Jaanis Kerkis and Kari Palsila
- Text | Tuomas Silvennoinen