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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Töölönlahden Block 2018 in Helsinki, Finland by ALA Architects

May 2nd, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: ALA Architects


The charm of Töölönlahti street blocks is in its completing the immediate urban fabric without stealing all the attention. This urban row also shelters the park from discomfort and noise of nearby railroads, and stands as a principle spine to support existing buildings and future public developments. Block 2018 culminates the row, subsequently characterising the entire block.

Facade from train tracks

  • Architect: ALA Architects
  • Name of Project: Töölönlahden Block 2018
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
  • Type: Competition, Purchase
  • Program: 3 200 m² Housing, 10 600 m² Offices
  • Team: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta, Samuli Woolston with Harri Ahokas, Petra Grisova, Julius Kekoni, Pekka Tainio, Jyri Tartia, Yena Young, Yin Li

The proposal is a continuation of the dualistic nature of Block 2018: a new natural terminus that gracefully complements the cityscape. Consisting of one office and two residential developments, the proposal interacts with Finlandia Hall and the adjacent park through the situation of a café pavilion.


From the office development’s pivotal south-east corner, the whole site is anchored to the urban fabric. The façade continues along the tracked perimeter northwards, eventually curving gently inwards. This subtle gesture again highlights its terminus character and also serves to direct flow towards the park.


The offices’ northern end curves inversely to partially envelop the six-storey apartment pavilion that loosely mimics the office’s edge. These unique city villas will be the most desirable apartments in Helsinki.

To the west of the office building is the other apartment pavilion that diagonally faces an entrance from the square at the end of Alvar Alto street.

Ground floor pienennetty

The housing pavilion in the south-west corner is connected to the offices by an expansive brise-soleil along the south façade. These shading elements transform into balcony rails along the fronts of apartments. The opposite facing of the linear south façade is a curvaceous and asymmetrical park of the city.

West facade

Aerial View

East aerial facade

East facade

Example floor

Ground floor

Section A-A

South facade

Urban fabric

West facade

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Categories: Mixed use, Urban Design

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