Hopealaakso Apartment Buildings, Kruunuvuorenranta
© Wienerberger Finland

A colourful dance of bricks

architectum issue roof and façade

Hopealaakso Apartment Buildings, Kruunuvuorenranta
© Wienerberger Finland / Tuomas Uusheimo

The Hopealaakso

in Finland

Hopealaakso Apartment Buildings, Kruunuvuorenranta
© Wienerberger Finland

Used products

Tuohi-Retro, Harmaa-Retro, Kaakaonruskea- Retro, Grafiitinmusta-Retro, Ruskonkirjava-Makasiini

A colourful dance of bricks

This Finnish housing project proves it is possible to design unique buildings. The varied patterns of the façade and multidimensionality of the bricks create a particularly playful and unconventional effect.

Unique brick patterns

 
Architectural agency Huttunen-Lipasti Arkkitehdit, in Finland, were commissioned with an exciting, yet challenging, project: to design a large, multi-storey apartment block in Kruunuvuorenranta, a new residential district in Helsinki. “Current trends in façade design are about more diverse surfaces, involving different colours and shapes, and not just seeking to create additional smooth, minimalist surfaces,” says designer Santeri Lipasti of Huttunen-Lipasti Arkkitehdit. “A significantly greater range of types of façade structure are being developed now than in the past and designers are trying new ways of using materials.”

“We needed bricks that could withstand Finnish weather conditions, meet our technical requirements and ensure the safety of the building.” - Mikko Blomberg, Huttunen-Lipasti Arkkitehdit.

Standing out and fitting in

 
The fact that brick is versatile and can easily create a sense of three-dimensionality was a key part of the decision to use it. Its various forms, interconnections and the different methods for joining brick all made it possible to give the façade an unusual appearance. “It was clear to us that brick opens up a wealth of possibilities for façades,” says Santeri Lipasti. “The façade of a building is also always part of a bigger urban landscape, and it should fit into this.” At first, they freely developed some ideas for brick façades, it was only once they knew the parameters they had to work within that they could adjust these abstract ideas to fit reality.

Demanding requirements

 
“We needed bricks that could withstand Finnish weather conditions, meet our technical requirements and ensure the safety of the building,” says Mikko Blomberg, lead architect for the project at Huttunen-Lipasti. “To achieve strong horizontal lines on the façade, it is generally advised to vary the depth to which the bricks are laid by a maximum of 15 millimetres into and out of the façade. We succeeded in making the bricks dance, even within this limitation.”
 
In the end, five different coloured bricks and five different layering methods were used to create the relief work on the wall. The pattern of the bricks creates different structures and effects as the light changes. The various colours on the façade reflect the various sizes of the apartments. “Relief masonry can’t really be properly illustrated in two-dimensional images. So we explored and discussed the difficult areas on-site, with the bricklayers,” says Mikko Blomberg. “In a unique project like this, you can’t solve everything at the drawing board.” 

Hopealaakso Apartment Buildings, Kruunuvuorenranta

Tuohi-Retro, Harmaa-Retro, Kaakaonruskea-Retro, Grafiitinmusta-Retro, Ruskonkirjava-Makasiini – Finland

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