Experientia team in final four, with community-minded concept
“The fundamental idea of the entry – the ENGAGE community noticeboard concept – is worth special mention. Transparent information is used to encourage people to adapt to more eco-efficient ways of living and working.”
Experientia continues to grow its portfolio of sustainable behavioural change concepts with the enGAGE community noticeboard. The concept – part of a competition entry for the Nordic Built Challenge architecture competition – was commended by the contest’s Finland jury. enGAGE was an original proposal for the complete renovation of the Hippostalo building, owned by Senate Properties in Tampere, Finland. Senate Properties is a government-owned enterprise controlled by the Finnish Ministry of Finance.
Just 4 teams – out of 43 submitted proposals – were selected as finalists for the Finnish part of the second stage competition of the Nordic Built Challenge, Finnish section. The second stage required the finalists to refine and elaborate the proposals that they submitted in the first stage of the competition. Experientia’s team, made up of Granlund (energy and resources management consultant), Gullsten-Inkinen (architecture and interior design), Matt Batey (sustainability consultant), and Buro Happold (façade engineering) was awarded joint-second place. The submission, entitled enGAGE, focused on involving people and encouraging behavioural change as key strategies to maximise the infrastructural and architectural renewal of the ’70s government office building. enGAGE aimed at going beyond carbon neutrality to achieve an EnergyPlus building.
The competion requirements implied a complete rethink of the space use – only 40% of office staffers use the building at any time. The enGAGE team thoroughly examined the building’s energy footprint, potential for onsite energy production and the opportunities for mixed use concepts. Experientia’s contribution to the team focused on new ways to use the spaces in the building, including service concepts, a different tenant mix, alternative organisations of individual and collaborative work spaces, and the introduction of innovative technologies for daily work/life practices.
While the overall submission was noted as demonstrating an “Overall high quality of solution with regards to architecture, cityscape and other uses of the building,” it was Experientia’s Community Noticeboard that was singled out by the jury for its focus on behavioural change: “The fundamental idea of the entry – the ENGAGE community noticeboard concept –is worth special mention. Transparent information is used to encourage people to adapt to more eco-efficient ways of living and working.”
Design-oriented concepts for the daily environment are not just about meeting functional needs with up-to-date technological solutions. They can also help to achieve the social and spatial connections that architecture and integrated communications can provide. Our design highlights a set of cornerstones for intervention and action such as:
enGAGE envisions opening up the government building to provide a range of community-focused services. It fosters stakeholder engagement to enable building occupants to contribute to the inner city community and vice versa. Participatory design processes informed mixed-use, community-centred concepts, providing services across age ranges from crèche to elderly accommodation. The concept for integrating the senior residents into Hippostalo shows the enGAGE philosophy in action. Rather than aiming to minimize disturbance to employees, the senior residents are invited to get involved in both using and providing the community services. For example residents can order food from the restaurant delivered to their apartments. They are also encouraged to share their professional skills on the workfloor, a flexible freelance resource only a click on the dashboard away.
The architectural approach enhances the existing structure and radically transforms internal spaces, combining aesthetics, flexibility and utility within an economically viable concept.
The transformation from office building to vibrant multi-purpose hub makes full use of the site’s infrastructure, and resources. Innovative work patterns are complemented by new living models, with a suite of services catering to a diverse and vibrant community. enGAGE was envisioned as a blueprint for a community hub: a seed for sustainable lifestyles to grow into the community and beyond.
Experientia has previously worked in Finland on Airut, winning first prize in the Low2No competition with engineering firm Arup and architectural firm Sauerbruch Hutton in 2009. The project is now underway, with a low-carbon-emissions building currently being constructed in Helsinki, to be completed by 2014. In 2011 Experientia won Italy’s National Award for Innovation in Service Design as well as an acknowledgement award in the prestigious Holcim Awards for Sustainable Buildings for the Low2No project. Experientia has also contributed ideas for temporary space usage and community creation to a master plan for urban renewal in Fredericia, Denmark, after successfully reaching second stage of the FredericiaC competition. Other collaborations on architectural projects include concepts for monitoring energy consumption in the CasaZera housing prototype in Turin, Italy; and an entire customer journey vision for a giant observation wheel, Nippon Moon, with UnStudio in 2013.
About the Nordic Built Challenge
The Nordic Built Challenge is an initiative to accelerate the development of sustainable building concepts. It invites multidisciplinary teams to compete for the refurbishment of five specific buildings, one in each Nordic country. The challenge is to demonstrate the principles of the Nordic Built Charter by refurbishing existing buildings in innovative and sustainable ways, while ensuring financial and practical viability.
Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture is the largest design company specialized in architectural and interior design and real estate renovation in Nordic countries. Gullstén-Inkinen is located in Helsinki and St. Petersburg.
Granlund is an energy management efficiency consultant. Granlund provides expert services in building management and utilities optimization.
Buro Happold is an international architecture and engineering practice working in the built and natural environment tackling the hardest issues that are most relevant to buildings, cities and strategic plans.