Multistore building Bysa and Sandis
© Wienerberger Finland

Monochrome waves

architectum issue roof and façade

Multistore building Bysa and Sandis, Helsinki
© Wienerberger Finland

Apartment building

in Finland

Multistore building Bysa and Sandis
© Wienerberger Finland

Products used

Koria Superwhite Retro and Dark Pellava Retro

Monochrome waves

“What is this white vision before me?” is the question that springs to mind when you first see the Bysa & Sandis complex located in the centre of Jätkäsaari, a new residential area of Helsinki. The apartment building features a pale brick façade and dominates the locality. On closer inspection, it discloses surprising and thoughtful details. 

Apartment building in Finland

The Bysa & Sandis complex surges over an area of 14,000 m2 and this Helsinki apartment building – containing 144 individual apartments – is truly striking. Its creative form and the elegant, contemporary building envelope make a significant impact on the urban landscape of the new residential area. 

Distinctive yet resource-friendly

The visual structure of the façade was created by using the two-tone colours of Superwhite Retro and Dark Pellava Retro facing bricks from the Wienerberger Koria series. The white and pale grey bricks have a dynamic structure and form the concave inner curve of the building as well as the convex north side. Clinker bricks in the same shade as the concrete elements were used on the north side. “As architects, we want to create a unique look using limited resources,” says Samuli Miettinen, architect at JKMM Architects in Helsinki. “Collaboration with an expert from the brick industry was vital in enabling us to find and develop new possibilities.”
 
The same bond was used for both brick façades. In this bond method, part of the excess mortar spreads over the brick surface. “Firstly, this bond method lightens the overall appearance. Secondly, it smooths out the differences between the parallel brick façades, which were created using different techniques,” explains Miettinen.

Sturdy materials

The unusual façade was inspired by an art gallery in Berlin. Durability and low maintenance requirements were the key factors that convinced the developers to use these bricks. The maritime location of the property also places increased demands on the weather-resistance of the façade solution. After a test-based selection process, they decided to use a 100 % cement-based mortar for both the brickwork and the pointing. A hydrophobing agent that prevents the ingress of water into the construction was added to the mortar to counteract the high moisture load.
 
Modelling, choosing the right methods and the coordination of three different teams on the construction site were all challenges, but all culminating in a successful and harmonious result. “The originality of the building is important, but so is a harmonious cityscape. Architects must always take previous buildings and designs into account while improving the current situation,” says Samuli Miettinen. “I hope that the residents will realise that this place is something special, in particular due to the architecture.”  

Multistore building with special joint, Supewhite and Tummapellava Retro facing bricks
© Wienerberger Finland

Facts & Figures

Project name: Helsingin Bysa & Sandis Ltd., Helsinki, Finland

Architecture   JKMM Architects, Samuli Miettinen Architect SAFA

Owners  Helsinki Housing Production Department ATT

Year of completion   2017

Category   Roof and façade

Products used  Koria Superwhite Retro and Dark Pellava Retro

haus am buddenturm, terca linaqua vino, handform, ringofen, maaseik, haus des jahres 2019, hehnpohl architektur bda
© hehnpohl architektur bda

Koria Superwhite Retro - Finland

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