How can one and the same office environment make several companies, all with different profiles and values, feel represented and welcome? The question became relevant when Fyra Arkitekter was contracted by the insurance company Varma in Helsinki to update and develop an office-hotel from the 90s.
The entire building was strongly influenced by the many successful tech companies that worked in the area during the 90’s. Varma’s premises previously housed the same tenant, who have now streamlined operations and reduced their office space needs by 50 percent.
– The house breathed tech and 90s. Hard materials and cold colours such as black, grey and red dominated the premise. In order for new tenants and visitors in other industries to feel at home, the premises needed to be adapted, says Niina Sihto, interior designer and founder of Fyra Arkitektbyrå.
They worked towards giving the building a new personality and designed the name and theme Valimo Park. To contrast what was, natural materials and colour choices, such as oak, green shades and terracotta, were chosen to create a park-like feeling.
– The entrance floor has several different functions with reception, restaurant, storage for visitors, meeting rooms and separate rooms to rent for business lunches. We have strived for a uniform, fresh look that will suit any company, without feeling impersonal. The restaurant, that is open to everyone, has been furnished to promote a variation of uses and to tone down the open space. You can both eat and work for a while, says Niina Sihto.
Another exciting feature found at the top of the building, on the seventh floor, are the three saunas and the modern designed spaces for an increased well-being in the workplace. These are reminiscent of the building’s origins from the 90s, when the sauna became an important detail in offices throughout Finland.
– The theme within the building is pleasant and it is easy to see how companies from several different industries can work and thrive here. Tenants are free to choose what their own office space should look like. However, for common areas such as the lobby, restaurant, conference and meeting rooms and corridor areas, we have delivered furnishings from several different producers such as Artek, Muuto and Vitra. A mix that maintains high quality and feels timeless. This theme will work for many years to come, says Rikka-Maria Slotte, Project Manager and Sales Manager at Input interior in Helsinki.