lahdelma & mahlamaki architects: maritime centre vellamo
lahdelma & mahlamaki architects: maritime centre vellamo lahdelma & mahlamaki architects: maritime centre vellamo
mar 25, 2011

lahdelma & mahlamaki architects: maritime centre vellamo

‘maritime centre vellamo’ by helsinki-based practice lahdelma & mahlamäki architects is a cultural facility on the harbour of kotka, finland. built to mark the city’s direction and position of architectural development, the design pulls elements from its surrounding to capture the visual and functional energy of the site. the building serves a number of roles, accommodating a multipurpose arena, a cinema complex, a ferry terminal and a guest marina.

all images by jussi tiainen / courtesy lahdelma & mahlamäki architects



situated at the end of the planned culture harbor, the overall form of the maritime center was influenced by the qualities and nature of water, resembling a gentle swell in its roofline. featuring a wide approach, a ramp leads visitors up to a public square on the roof which is partially sheltered by a continuous curve that results as a a steel-and-glass overhang. built in stadium seats offer a place for outdoor events to take place.

(left) rooftop seating, (right) exterior ramp



the exterior is wrapped in a dynamic, tile-like skin of colored and etched glazing. from a distance, the building possesses a shade similar to the sea. at night, the different patterns and engraving of the panels are illuminated from within, creating an interesting identity for the center. the interior space is largely finished in wood surfaces, with accents of bold colors that define each program. the common area features a curvilinear ceiling that create a subtle directional motion to the space.


views of facade

detail of facade

(left) front elevation, (right) entrance


lobby ceiling

circulation space

views of interior


(left) theater seating
(right) common space


from the water

site map

site map

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level +1

floor plan / level +2

long section

rendered aerial view

day and night of façade


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