snøhetta to wrap waterfront helsinki hotel in a smooth white glass skin snøhetta to wrap waterfront helsinki hotel in a smooth white glass skin
feb 02, 2017

snøhetta to wrap waterfront helsinki hotel in a smooth white glass skin

 

snøhetta has won an invited competition to design a hotel on helsinki’s hakaniemi waterfront in finland. named ‘hilbert’s hotel’, the scheme intends to be a new landmark for the city, catering to the needs of both guests and the wider public. ‘the design seeks to achieve a scale that is contextual to form a harmonious relationship with the surrounding urbanity and landscape as well as with the community as a whole,’ say the architects.

snohetta hilberts hilbert's hotel helsinki
all images © snøhetta

 

 

snøhetta’s design establishes a clear public domain that forms the foundation of the hotel. by elevating the building above a stepped plaza, and creating a public thoroughfare, the city retains its relationship with the harbor. ‘maintaining a high degree of permeability of the plaza is an essential element for the design, ensuring access to the water and connectivity across the site and with the wider neighborhood,’ explains the design team.

snohetta hilberts hilbert's hotel helsinki
the building is elevated above a stepped plaza

 

 

the building itself is enveloped in a smooth white glass skin that exists in stark contrast to the surrounding urban fabric. recalling the look of broken sea ice, the modular panelization of the façades is expressed by small joints. the hotel’s appearance shifts throughout the day, with façade transparency becoming apparent with guest occupancy. other on-site public functions include restaurants, bars, outdoor seating, and rooftop terraces.

 

we have tried to actively celebrate the presence of visitors in the city,’ says snøhetta founding partner kjetil t. thorsen. ‘simultaneously, we have tried to promote the qualities, such as the connection to the water, of this specific site as a gift to the visitors and inhabitants of helsinki. this mutual task is at the core of architectural creations.’

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