Train depot becomes new urban landmark in Helsinki

MASSLAB and AFRY Ark Studio win the competition to redesign the Pasila machine shop area in Helsinki into a new mixed-program building open to the city.

The team resulting from the collaboration between MASSLAB and AFRY Ark Studio will develop a new urban landmark for the Pasila machine shop area in Helsinki. The proposal was selected from five submissions in a separate two-stage competition hosted by the Train Factory Group and the City of Helsinki. The former electric train building was transformed into a 45,000-square-meter office, retail, and hotel complex and reimagined as a social, commercial, and cultural hub, upgrading its historical heritage.

The action on the single building was the catalyst for renewing a larger area through a complete urban redesign, with the 1970's workshop annex serving the inhabitants of the area. The winning proposal seeks to achieve this through a project based on the needs, uses, actions and habits of the local community.

The entire street level is organized around an organic vaulted ceiling that invites people in, while from a green platform on the rooftop there is a view of the city.

MASSLAB + AFRY Ark Studio, A Roof for Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

According to the designers, the choice of an unconventional form made it possible to create a cost-effective building suitable for changing needs.

Wood at ground level, a reference to the Finnish ethos, invites us to move around and participate in urban life. Brick is a continuous dialogue with its surroundings. Glass, on the other hand, dissolves the building into the Helsinki landscape. 

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