Architecture

Finnish shipping company gets floating HQ

Arctia Shipping Ltd has moved its headquarters into a floating office building in Helsinki
Arctia Shipping Ltd has moved its headquarters into a floating office building in Helsinki
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Arctia Shipping Ltd has moved its headquarters into a floating office building in Helsinki
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Arctia Shipping Ltd has moved its headquarters into a floating office building in Helsinki
950 square meter (10,225 sq ft) floating office building designed by K2S Architects
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950 square meter (10,225 sq ft) floating office building designed by K2S Architects
The building's cold and rigid exterior is in stark contrast to its warm interior, which boasts soft curves and an abundance of wood
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The building's cold and rigid exterior is in stark contrast to its warm interior, which boasts soft curves and an abundance of wood
The floating structure was built in a shipping yard in the west of Finland before being towed to its new home at the Meriksarmi Pier, Helsinki
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The floating structure was built in a shipping yard in the west of Finland before being towed to its new home at the Meriksarmi Pier, Helsinki
New Arctia HQ floats in the Helsinki harbor
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New Arctia HQ floats in the Helsinki harbor
Drawing inspiration from the large black hulls prominent in Arctia's fleet of icebreaker ships, the floating building features a large black steel facade
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Drawing inspiration from the large black hulls prominent in Arctia's fleet of icebreaker ships, the floating building features a large black steel facade
The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets
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The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets
Arctia HQ's dramatic entrance
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Arctia HQ's dramatic entrance
Arctia HQ's dramatic entrance
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Arctia HQ's dramatic entrance
The building features a series of different size offices, working spaces, meeting rooms and a personnel café
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The building features a series of different size offices, working spaces, meeting rooms and a personnel café
Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the offices with natural light while also taking advantage of the premium waterfront views
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Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the offices with natural light while also taking advantage of the premium waterfront views
The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets
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The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets
The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets
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The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets
Arctia Shipping Ltd has moved its headquarters into a floating office building in Helsinki
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Arctia Shipping Ltd has moved its headquarters into a floating office building in Helsinki
The choice to create a floating HQ came from Arctia's need to have its management team and ground personnel as close as possible to its ships
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The choice to create a floating HQ came from Arctia's need to have its management team and ground personnel as close as possible to its ships
Arctia HQ plans by K2S Architects
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Arctia HQ plans by K2S Architects
Arctia HQ plans by K2S Architects
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Arctia HQ plans by K2S Architects

Finnish icebreaker company Arctia Shipping Ltd has moved its headquarters closer to the waters, so close in fact that its new office building floats in the Helsinki harbor. Designed by K2S Architects, the 950 square meter (10,225 sq ft) floating office was built in a shipping yard in the west of Finland before being towed to its new home at Meriksarmi Pier.

The choice to create a floating HQ was based on Arctia's need to have its management team and ground personnel as close as possible to its ships. Starting out with the original plan to build on the pier, K2S quickly came up with the idea of creating a floating building, which meant it had more room to get creative. The decision to be build a floating structure also meant that the architects didn't need to clear land or impact the local landscape during or after the construction process.

"There was not enough space on ground and this solution also allows the company to move the office building into another location if necessary," K2S architect Mikko Summanen tells Gizmag. "The whole structure was built in the dock yards in controlled climate conditions, which is a great benefit in a Nordic climate."

Drawing inspiration from the large hulls prominent in Arctia's fleet of icebreaker ships, the floating building features a large black steel facade. The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of distinctive customized perforated aluminum sheets, designed to reflect maritime themes.

"We are pleased with the facade system we especially developed for this building," says Summanen. "The corrugated sea aluminum panels are perforated with a pattern that is inspired by patterns of ice and sailors textiles."

The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets
The steel cell structure has been covered with a series of impressive customized perforated aluminum sheets

The building's cold and rigid exterior is in stark contrast to its interior, which boasts soft curves and an abundance of locally sourced natural wood materials. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the offices with natural light while also taking advantage of the premium waterfront views. Overall the building features a series of different sized offices, working spaces, meeting rooms and a staff café. The pontoon area has been dedicated for technical and storage use.

Having recently completed Arctia's floating HQ, K2S Architects is currently working on the extension of the Helsinki Olympic stadium and remains passionate about other possibilities for floating structures.

"There are definitely many other possibilities in floating solutions," says Summanen. "For instance, we have been planning a floating kindergarten in Helsinki. Since floating structures are highly mobile, we believe that they can offer different kinds of services in a city at the right time and right place."

Source: K2S Architects, Arctia Shipping Ltd via Arch Daily

3 comments
Slowburn
If the owners are happy with it.
BigGoofyGuy
I think that is way cool. Hopefully none of the people who work there have any problems with being sea sick.
Slowburn
The real advantage is if the business climate becomes hostile you can move to more inviting shores without having to pack all your offices.