Back in September, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra announced the proposal “c_life â€“ City as living factory of ecology” by team ARUP/Sauerbruch Hutton/Experientia/Galley Eco Capital as the winning design of the Low2No Competition. The competition aimed at raising the interest of Helsinki’s decision-makers, developers, planners and constructors to carefully examine the inevitable changes they will be facing towards achieving a more sustainable future in Finland’s capital and the entire region.
Low2No Finalist Entry “Rebuilding 2.0” by REX/Croxton Collaborative/NOW (Image: Luxigon)
Here’s a closer look at the “Rebuilding 2.0” concept with a detailed description we received from REX:
Sustainability mandates systemic change. Systemic change requires doing more. Sustainability requires impacting less. REBUILDING 2.0 is a strategy for Finland to impact less by doing more.
Finland has a history of surmounting collective challenges with nation-wide rebuilding projects. Currently, Finland has one of the worldâ€™s largest per capita ecological footprints, and faces an extraordinary challenge in overcoming its environmental deficit.
Energy efficient buildings alone are not enough to meet this challenge. Only by changing behaviourâ€” particularly mass migration to the suburbs and its accompanying carbon-intensive lifestyleâ€”can Finland reach ecological balance. Finland must initiate REBUILDING 2.0, a new national project to make more Nature, more City and less Sprawl.
Built on JÃ¤tkÃ¤saari, but learning from Helsinkiâ€™s core, THE REBUILDING is a tool for generating more density, more diversity, more City at the building scale. Two Residential Towers, repurposing Finlandâ€™s steel capabilities for sustainable and adaptable construction, provide light, air and views to its inhabitants. Its Headquarters unites the need for community-building with the seemingly contradictory demand for flexibility. Its Urban Infill offers 50.000 m3 of potential, capable of being â€œtunedâ€ to meet the specific and changing needs of its neighbourhood, while affording greater stakeholder participation. Although it reduces energy consumption by 39% and carbon emissions by 50% relative to a comparable code compliant project, THE REBUILDING recognizes that urbanity itself is the embodiment of sustainability. It is dense, diverse, evolving and full of peopleâ€”living and working, meeting and sleeping, growing up and making things.
A nation of immense financial, natural, infrastructural and intellectual wealth, Finland also possesses a unique catalyst to power systemic change: Sitra. It is time for Finns to galvanize these strengths to meet the challenge of carbon neutrality, to become a global exemplar.
REBUILDING 2.0 is the strategy.
THE REBUILDING is the first step.
From the competition boards:
Currently, Finland has one of the worldâ€™s largest per capita ecological footprints, and faces a massive challenge in overcoming its environmental deficit. At first glance, there seems to be no problem. Finland has little population growth and Finns are moving toward cities. However, closer analysis reveals migration is to suburban belts around cities, leading to sprawl. (Image: REX)
The energy efficiency of buildings is a relatively small factor when compared to the carbon intensive lifestyles that accompany mass suburban migration. Finland must decide if it is willing to change its behaviorâ€”to migrate toward more populated, more vital, more sustainable citiesâ€” to go from â€œlow-â€ to â€œno-â€ carbon. Finland has a history of surmounting collective challenges with nation-wide rebuilding projects. It is therefore uniquely capable of galvanizing around a new, nation-wide projectâ€”â€œREBUILDING 2.0â€â€”that funnels growth and migration to make more Nature, more City, and less Sprawl. (Image: REX)
Repopulating the Urban Core: Evolving from Helsinkiâ€™s traditional perimeter block fabric, a new building typology re-injects population into the urban core, optimizing the city centerâ€™s underused infrastructure and amenities. (Image: REX)
â€œTHE REBUILDINGâ€ is the application of REBUIDLING 2.0 at the scale of a single site, where key strategies can be tested for their application to, and replication within, the greater Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Designed to generate more density, more diversity, and more City, THE REBUILDING includes the following three components: 1. Residential Towers, 2. Headquarters, 3. Urban Infill (Image: Luxigon)
Click above image to enlarge
Two slender Residential Towers totaling 14,000 m2 replace Finlandâ€™s conventional concrete construction with highly sustainable and recyclable steel construction, whose lateral stability is provided by an exoskeleton that enables easy plan reconfiguration and solar optimization.
Contrary to conventional construction methods, the Residential Towersâ€™ faÃ§ades are composed of a permanent mullion â€œchassisâ€ which supports interchangeable window and insulation cassettes that aid flexibility over time, and that can be easily maintained or replaced by new technologies. (Image: Radii)
Manually operable faÃ§ade panels update the typical Finnish exterior balcony. A simple mechanism common in minivans enables the operable panels to be opened horizontally. During summer, the open panels provide an identical experience to that of a typical Finnish balcony. During winter, however, the operable panels can be kept closed, increasing usable interior area and solar gain while reducing thermal loss. (Image: Luxigon)
8,000 m2 of office space is dimensioned to accommodate different and evolving work styles and allows for proximity, interconnectedness, and future company expansion. Cohesion within the Headquarters is fostered by concentrating collective spaces and circulation within a highly transparent courtyard, thereby promoting interaction and resource-sharing. (Image: Luxigon)
The resulting plan unites flexibility and expandability with community-building and elegance. (Image: Luxigon)
50,000 m3 (13,200 m2) of Urban Infillâ€”a hybrid between a building and a development strategyâ€”retains conceptual coherence, while fostering evolution and multiple authorship. (Image: Radii)
Drawing from the unmet needs of its surroundings, the Urban Infill is a laboratory for testing social, cultural, and market viability for future mixed-use buildings within Helsinki and its new development areas. (Image: REX)
Should all the Urban Infill not be initially developed, interim public functionsâ€”or Urban Roomsâ€”can anticipate amenities planned for Helsinkiâ€™s new development areas. (Image: Luxigon)
By concentrating 22,000 m2 of program 14 meters above grade into two slender residential towers unified by a two story office ringâ€¦ (Image: REX)
â€¦and allowing for an additional 13,200 m2 of fine grain development to occupy the street level frontageâ€¦ (Image: REX)
â€¦THE REBUILDING becomes a paradigm of density and diversity. (Image: REX)
Finland has immense financial, natural, infrastructural, and intellectual wealth at its disposal. The nation also possesses a unique catalyst to power systemic change: Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. It is time for Finns to galvanize these strengths to meet the challenge of carbon neutrality, to become a global exemplar. (Image: Luxigon)
CLIENT: Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund
PROGRAM: Mixed-use sustainable development containing 14,000 mÂ² of residential units, an 8,000 mÂ² headquarters, and 13,200 mÂ² of â€œUrban Infillâ€
AREA: 35,200 mÂ² (378,900 sf)
PROJECT COST: NA
STATUS: Limited competition, second prize, 2009
ARCHITECT: REX | Croxton Collaborative | NOW
KEY REX PERSONNEL: Garrick Ambrose, Haviland Argo, E. Sean Bailey, Thomas Baker, Christopher Barley, Behrang Behin, Barrett Brown, Keith Burns, Wayne Congar, Juilanne Gola, Adam Koogler, Joshua Prince-Ramus, Jacob Reidel, Troy Therrien
CONSULTANTS: 2x4, Arup New York, Bureau Bas Smets, Front, Jonathan Rose Companies, Magnusson Klemencic, Transsolar
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