o p u s



Location: Helsinki, Finland

Year: 2023 – 2024

Status: Competition. Completed.

Program: Office, commercial spaces

Client: KOy Runskivuori, City of Helsinki

Area: 8850 m2


The City of Helsinki commisioned four architecture offices to submit proposals for the extension and development of the historic Autotalo quarter in Kamppi. The challenge was to accommodate an adequate amount of new office and commercial premises on a limited site, while considering the prominence of the existing quarter and the scale of the surrounding urban context.


The existing Autotalo quarter consists of four towers connected by a low pedestal. The original ensemble was distinctly modern in its time, with an intention of developing an urban ideal for the downtown of Helsinki, in Kamppi. The international modernism represented by the quarter is characterised by rationalism, a clear juxtaposition of different parts of the whole and a reduced set of architectural gestures.


The proposed design draws from the existing qualities and characteristics of Autotalo. The design is built around the presence of a horisontal pedestal and a tower block which is placed on top of it. The pedestal adapts to the urban setting and connects the extension directly to the pedestal of Autotalo, forming internal connections within the quarter and providing new commercial spaces at the surrounding streets on the ground floor level. The tower is placed in to the existing composition in a novel way: the building unit is partially cantilevered over the edge of the pedestal, over the adjoining street. This gesture frees space between the new tower and the existing ones and creates an identifiable characteristic for the extension, connecting it to the street scape in a bold, yet tactful way.


The architectural language of the proposed design is rather reduced and rational, in the spirit of the original architecture of Autotalo. The porposal seeks to interpret the existing ingredients into a new and distinctive part of the whole, while respecting the dominance and balance of the original ensemble.