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Huomenna - Conference & Exhibition Centre, Helsinki, Finland

Part 2 Project 2008
Mark Skeels
University of Huddersfield Huddersfield | UK

'A public focussed architecture reflecting the character of the site and changing society'.

The Huomenna Conference and Exhibition Centre is located in the Sornainen district at the northern harbour of Helsinki, Finland. The philosophy behind the design was to capture a symbolic representation of the changing face of industrial portside activity within Helsinki, reflected as a contemporary architectural form. The visionary concept included the notion of a metropolis, inspired by the 'visionary cities' in the 1960s, where huge structures were able to support a series of internal functions.

The scheme was designed with longevity in mind, an open-ended solution to the project allows for potential repetition and expansion of the centre to accommodate changing facilities.

The strategic intervention to the site comprised of a linear response which focussed on the public realm. At ground floor level, the entrance concourse acts as an internal street to maximise permeability along the waterfront. This experience begins off the external piazza towards the southern part of the site.

The proposal puts emphasis on two expressive elements:

The Hanging Exhibition Pavilions bring constant reference to existing portside structures, frequently visible throughout the Helsinki skyline. They offer a solid transition from an open planned organisation, offering an experience of tectonic beauty, epitomising the Finn's love for technology.

Through a rigorous interpretation of the sectional profile, the progression of ones movement through the internal spaces is captivated. Particular emphasis and articulation is made to the culmination of the journey, puncturing the skin of the building, the observation deck takes advantage of the prominant views towards the Gulf of Finland and a dramatic view over the piazza, where the journey all began.

Mark Skeels

Referencing the provocations of Cedric Price, Archigram, and the Metabolist Group, the Museum for Tomorrow in Helsinki, is rigorous work which melds urban intervention with experiential event. The building programme is slung within Herculean expressed portals and structural stirrups liberating the ground plane and facilitating a waterfront linkage in a tectogenetic celebration of assemblage, articulation, composition, scale, and comprehendibility.

Mr Gerard Bareham

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