Finnish Design Shop is fast growing online store of Nordic design. The rapid growth accelerated during the Covid epidemy, as traditional stores needed to close and people staying home had a lot of extra time to do online shopping. Moreover, as most of the time was spent home, decorating your own apartment became very popular. The new headquarters of the company comprises a logistics center sending products all over the word, a showroom for the company’s products as well as a restaurant run by a famous local chef.

Building type: Logistics center, headquarters, showroom and restaurant
Address: Aviatie 2, Turku, Finland
Design: 2020-2021
Construction: 2021
Gross floor area: 12 129 br-m²
Client: NREP IV FinCo 8 Oy / Sanna Vikström and Jarkko Äikää
PCM: JL- Projektikonsultit Oy / Jarmo Leskinen
User: Finnish Design Shop Oy / Teemu Kiiski
Supervisor: Auratec Oy / Juhani Virtala
Mechanical supervisor: TA-Tekniikka Ky / Asko Tamminen


Facade design: Avanto Architects Ltd /Ville Hara, Anu Puustinen and Noora Lehtinen, architects SAFA, Veronika Farvozdinova, architect
Principal and Arkkitehtiruutu Oy / Riku Aramo, Päivi Mäntylä and
architectural design : Susanna Rantanen
Interior design: Studio Joanna Laajisto / Joanna Laajisto and Mimmu Hirvonen
Structural design: SWECO Rakennetekniikka Oy / Aki Luntamo
Geo design: SM Maanpää Oy / Sauli Maanpää
Mechanical designs: SWECO Talotekniikka Oy / Antti Mustalammi, Santtu Meristö (HVAC), Juha-Pekka Laiho (EL), Petteri Lehtinen (automation), Anu Hannukkala (EN)
Fire technical design:  Palotekninen insinööritoimisto Markku Kauriala Oy / Marianna Kauriala, Milla Saarto, Tea Nieminen
Sprinkler design: Afire Oy / Antti Virtanen, Harri Jokela
Landscape design: VSU Oy / Saara Oilinki
Traffic design: WSP Oy / Harri Haantio
Acoustical design: Akucon Oy / Anssi Ruusuvuori
LCA consultant: Green Building Partners Oy / Timo Rintala
Main Contractor: YIT Suomi Oy / Juha Kohonen, Arvi Lehtovaara, Toni Tahkoniemi, Jouni Kääriäinen, Rauno Vilén, Ilari Havia (vastaava mestari), Olli Lehtonen, Kari Hallanheimo

Photos: / Anders Portman

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The design task was tricky. The very big building got its form from the layout of the automated robot warehouse inside, and it was no possible to articulate the building with massing or roof shape. Even though the location next to a highway and in the proximity of the Turku airport spoke for a simple structure, the user of the building wanted that the building represents the company’s values and was high quality design and easy to approach.

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The overall concept for the building came from the immediate surroundings. North from the site, there is a valuable nature conservation area. The chosen forest theme is visible in the elevations that have a vertical relief pattern that is reminiscent of the tree trunks in the nearby forest. We tried to keep as many existing trees as possible on the plot. The site’s green areas were covered with natural forest undergrowth and natural stones from the site works. The parking lot was articulated into smaller units with planted areas with typical Finnish trees and wild vegetation found in the nature. The building’s large glazed surfaces offer direct views to the calming forest. There is a connection to the outdoor space both from the restaurant terrace and from the office floor work spaces through a long cantilevered balcony.

The façade is built with concrete sandwich elements. We used readymade concrete form liner by Recli. Even though the three dimensional relief is just 15 millimeters deep, the appearance of the surface changes according to the sun direction making the surface look much deeper and more three dimensional. The striped surface is very important design aspect as it creates a smaller scale to the vast façade surface. The relief becomes visible only when you approach the wall giving it another layer of perception. The concrete was colored with black pigment and the surface was treated with black varnish to make the color more intense. The dark color helps to blend the big building to its surroundings.

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To contrast the black concrete surfaces, the main entrance vestibule and office floor balcony are clad with stained wooden planks. Wooden windows and doors, exceptional for a logistics building, bring warmth to the dark colored exterior of the building.

You enter the building through a showroom with display of the products sold by the company. The glazed high space showcase the use of the building to its surroundings. The space has a long straight stair made of two massive glulam beams, leading to the office spaces on the first floor. There is a view through full width windows along the gallery level to the ground floor logistics hall with the robot collection system.

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The building got the BREEAM Excellent (the second highest level) certificate as the first logistics building in Finland. This ambitious certification was done by separate LCA expert. The energy is produced by geothermal heat partly powered by electricity from solar panels on the roof and the sustainability was taken care of in all design solutions and building works.


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