Client: The City of Espoo
Status: Competition (2023) Project
Location: Espoo, Finland
Climate: Continental, Temperate
Materials: Glass, Wood, Concrete
Scale: 24.000 ㎡ Large
Types: City hall, Institutional
The Espoo House is a hybrid municipal building, that will serve as a hub for decision-makers, city employees and residents in the Finnish city of Espoo – the country’s second largest city and part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The design is centered around an ambitious use of timber, continuing Finland’s rich tradition of wooden construction. The building is conceived with a load-bearing mass timber structure that minimizes the use of material and offers high flexibility and easy adaptation to the building’s evolving needs over time. The Espoo House will serve as the new public heart of the city. With a mix of workspaces and public areas distributed throughout the entire building, it will promote social encounters and multi-purpose spaces for a wide range of public events and activities. The building is part of a larger master plan for one of five major urban centers in Espoo, creating a diverse neighborhood with new residential buildings, commercial facilities, public transportation, and green urban spaces. The Espoo House will be a recognizable landmark in the city, that strengthens the future identity of Espoo.
An urban living room for all of Espoo
Espoo House’s ground floor is an open and flexible extension of the public outdoor spaces. The public spaces extend inward and then vertically within the building within the central atrium, and up to the top-most level, providing flexible and diverse meeting places for all. The atrium also allows natural light to fill the central parts of the building.
A wooden construction
Espoo House will be built primarily of timber. The wooden structure offers flexibility for different layouts on each floor, enabling easy adaptation to the building’s evolving needs over time – extending the building’s life cycle and usability.
«Espoo House will be constructed primarily of wood; columns and beams of mass timber, slabs of CLT and a wooden clad façade, continuing Finland’s rich tradition of building in wood. While minimizing the emission of CO₂ compared to traditional concrete constructions, wood will also be visible throughout the building and create a warm atmosphere and quality. Unlike historical, large-scale and formal city halls, we envision a human, social and tactile house for the people, and an urban living room for community building.» – Dan Stubbergaard, founder and architect, Cobe
The load-bearing structure consists of mass timber with a span of 6×6 meters. The dimensions are chosen to minimize the material use for the building, since it reduces the use of decks as well as provide a generous room height.
From city council hall to multi-purpose hall
The top floor houses a public multi-purpose hall and winter garden, providing an ideal setting for large public events with expansive views over the city and surrounding landscapes.
Landmark within the city structure
Espoo House is a landmark in the new urban development of Espoo Center. An urban transformation of a generic and one-dimensional architectural landscape defined by cars to a unique and diverse neighborhood, increasing green urban spaces and community life.