Katajanokan Laituri, Helsinki

The Katajanokan Laituri, a joint construction project of the Varma and Stora Enso, is a new masterpiece of Finnish wooden construction and a flagship of the Finnish architecture. Building will be completed in the summer of 2024 in South Harbour, Helsinki. Among other things, Stora Enso's new head office and S group's high-end Sokotel hotel will be located in the wooden office building built on the parade ground of a significant cultural environment (observation photo: Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit Oy). 

The architecturally magnificent Katajanokan Laituri is located in an important and traditional place for the people of Helsinki. After all, Katajanokka in Helsinki has hundreds of years of history behind it. The new office building is located in a maritime environment a short distance from Stora Enso’s former headquarters, the building known in Finland as Alvar Aalto’s “sokeripala” (the Finnish word means “sugar cube”). The South Harbour’s sea spa Allas Sea Pool and Helsinki’s famous market square Kauppatori are located nearby.

The finished building contains approximately 16,000 square meters of office space for rent to companies and service providers, as well as public spaces open to the public, which will serve as a meeting place for city dwellers, tourists and service providers who enjoy the seaside location in one of Helsinki’s finest neighborhoods.

A trendsetter in wood construction

Katajanokan Laituri will be, not only a significant trendsetter for wood construction in the urban environment, but also a modern and progressive office building aiming for carbon neutrality. The energy consumed in building will be produced entirely with renewable energy sources. Minimizing the climate effects of the building during its entire life cycle is one of the main goals of the project. After the building is completed, it will be applied for the LEED Platinum green building certificate, which broadly takes into account responsibility aspects.

The visible wooden surfaces, the personalized design of the building, and the massiveness of the wooden structures are, of course, central parts of the architecture and identity of Katajanokan Laituri. However, the use of climate-responsibly grown and renewable solid wood also makes Katajanokan Laituri a significant and long-term carbon storage solution. The building is made to last at least a hundred years and store carbon for the lifetime of its wooden structures. According to calculations, the structures bind up to 5,865 tons of carbon dioxide, which is roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 3,500 passenger cars.

The project utilizes Stora Enso’s Sylva™ wood-based products for low-carbon buildings, which consists of prefabricated building elements according to dimensions. The finished wooden frame contains 7,600 cubic meters of solid wood supplied by Stora Enso. Of this, approximately 6,000 m³ is cross-laminated timber (CLT) produced at the company’s Gruvön factory in Sweden, and 1,600 m³ is veneered timber (LVL) produced by the company’s Varkaus factories. Veneered wood is used as the load-bearing frame of the building, while CLT is used as the load-bearing structure of the building’s stiffening inner walls, elevator and stair shafts, stairs, and intermediate floors and top floor. A similar wooden frame cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The building is mainly finished with a glass facade.

Katajanokan Laituri marraskuussa 2023
In November 2023 the construction work of Katajanokka Laituri was in good shape. The building is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2024 (photo: Puurakentajat Group Oy).

Our services in the project

KK-Palokonsultti Oy has carried out the fire engineering design of the Katajanokan Laituri and prepared numerous site-specific expert opinions and various reports on the project. The effect of the central hall’s solid wood lamellas on the spread of fire and smoke was investigated using fire simulations in order to ensure the safety of using wooden surfaces. The total floor area of the site far exceeds the upper limit of the P2 fire class, so it was decided to divide the building into two parts with a “firewall-like” wooden structure.

THE GEM OF WOOD CONSTRUCTION

The Katajanokan Laituri was designed by Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit Oy, whose competition work “Spring”, which drew inspiration from the Finnish forest, won the architectural competition organized for the wooden office building planned for Katajanokka in 2020. Katajanokka Laituri is implemented in cooperation with Haahtela, who is responsible for project management. The building, owned by the Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company, is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2024.

In accordance with the evaluation criteria of the award committee, the goal of the architectural competition was to find a solution that balanced urban structural, landscape, functional, aesthetic, technical and financial requirements, and in terms of architectural solutions, Katajanokka Laituri certainly fits perfectly in its central location. To quote the award committee, “Spring is a beautiful and balanced work that continues the facade of light town houses stretching from the Esplanade to Katajanokka with the means of modern architecture. It also fits well with the block structure of Katajanokka and the facade line of the beach. The round corners of the building connect it to the forms of the adjacent Tulli and Pakkahuone and the hotel, which are also repeated elsewhere In the architecture of Katajanokka’s National Romantic and Art Nouveau periods.”

KATAJANOKAN LAITURI ON THE MAP

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