Architects Soini & Horto

AS&H participates in the global climate and biodiversity emergency declaration

17.09.2020

Finnish architects, Architects Soini & Horto, among others, join the global climate and biodiversity emergency declaration. We want to do our part in increasing climate awareness among our partners and strive to extend the life cycle of buildings as well as evaluate new projects from the perspective of climate impact.

Examples of our projects where design is guided by ecology and sustainable development:

Katajanokka headquarters and hotel

Promoting sustainable building requires ambitious deeds. Our client, who specialises in wood processing, was looking for a suitable place to build their headquarters. This search soon realised as a concrete project on one of the nations most foremost properties by the marine facade of Helsinki. The new plan replaced the old harbour functions with a lively entity consisting of a hotel and an office building. The city structure was successfully tightened, bringing a positive lift to the cityscape. As the crown jewel of timber construction, the new city building awakens strong positive feelings both in locals and visitors. It gives hope: we are able to change our environmental indifference into respective environmental adaptation. The project included a planning competition and the entity will be built as described in the winning proposal.

Keilaniemen Portti

Keilaniemen Portti in Espoo will be one of the highest wooden office buildings in the world once it’s finished. The existing infrastructure is utilised as the project is located on a narrow untouched strip between traffic lanes and a nearby underground station. It is a great example of a successful city structure tightening. The project aims to maximise innovative wood use in both the structures and surface materials. Carbon footprint is taken into account in all choices made in the designing process. The project strives to develop better solutions for humidity control challenges during the building phase in order to promote timber construction. The organic and unique architectural style makes the entity seem like a literal extension of the archipelago view. This style aims to communicate and declare respect for the environment surrounding us as well as our need and longing to adapt to it.

Grand Hansa

Hotel Grand Hansa project combines three old buildings in Helsinki’s city centre: Uusi Ylioppilastalo built in 1910, Kalevan talo hotel part (previously known as Seurahuone) built in 1914 and Hansatalo built in 1981. The property will include 224 hotel rooms and the surface area totals over 20 000 m2. The project will be ready in 2023. Hotel Grand Hansa planning is based on the principles of sustainable development. Instead of demolishing the old and replacing it with new construction, the process includes complete renovation extending the old buildings’ life cycle. This decreases the carbon footprint of construction work.

The property is located in Helsinki’s city centre with various services located in direct vicinity. It is easily reached with collective traffic, by bike or by walking. With regards to building technology, the controls of the functions, the lighting levels, the thermal conditions and the process loads are taken into account. The water use in hotel rooms is minimised with eco-conscious bathroom fixtures, for example limiting the shower flows. Old buildings’ energy efficiency is increased by added isolation work within the guidelines of protecting historical buildings. Insulation will be added to the roof and the windows will be renewed or repaired to be airtight and have a better U-value.