Tommila Architects

By designing better working and living environments we can raise the quality of life.


Metropolia Arabia Creative Campus

The industrial quarter of Arabia in Helsinki is going through a period of extensive changes. The first finalised step in the renewal of the entire quarter is the Metropolia Creative Campus, phase 1, opened in 2018. The new premises of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences continue the tradition of creative activity in Arabia, strengthening the profile of the area as a whole. The factory quarter now houses learning spaces for industrial design, textile design, interior architecture, conservation, clothing design, digital design and cultural management as well as a renewed library. The project also included the design of a communal restaurant space serving the diverse users of the entire future campus, with a stage for performances and events. The phase 2, comprising new music learning facilities, is currently being built and expected to be finalised in 2021.

New staircases connect the 5-story campus together, enhancing communication in the complex fabric of the quarter. A new entrace has been opened up in the Hämeentie facade, establishing a direct connection to the new restaurant and the campus lobby areas. A large glass facade reveals the life of the new campus to the bypassing people, providing Metropolia with a new interface of exchange. The design repeats the rhythm and proportions of the earlier additions in the preserved facade.

The campus serves as a laboratory for the creative students, allowing for an investigative design approach where students can test out their ideas in real context. The material choices and colour tones of the campus are deliberately understated, leaving the responsibility and freedom of bringing colour into the spaces for the students through their own designs. The lobby areas have a loose layout, allowing for additional furniture designed by the students.

The long and multi-layered story of the famous Arabia factory quarter continues with new narratives. The design emphasizes the layered history, leaving newly demolished concrete surfaces untouched as well as the former Aalto design university stage design area as it were, with old paint stains coupled with a new staircase. New, mirroring surfaces reflect the vibrant status quo and bring light to the deep core of the old factory building.

Photography: Tuomas Uusheimo


Suurpelto Waste Management Terminal

The Suurpelto Waste Management Terminal is one of the first large scale pipeline-based waste terminals in Finland. The waste from the adjoining Suurpelto area travels easily to the terminal and is transported further from there. This reduces truck traffic in the residential area and adds to the comfort of everyday life.

The design of the terminal is simple yet sculptural. A galvanized steel cladded free form outer shell surrounds the infrastructure of the vacuum cyclones, marking the entrance to the Suurpelto area.

Photography: Tuomas Uusheimo


Paulig Roastery and Headquarters

Paulig Group’s coffee company, Gustav Paulig Ltd, is Finland’s leading company in the coffee business. In Paulig’s coffee roastery project, production facilities and offices were combined in one building. The exterior architecture reflects the different functions of the complex. The main facade material is dark brown corten steel, resembling the colour of roasted coffee beans. Big glass surfaces and light-coloured aluminium sheets are being used in the office and roastery wings.

The visitor can immediately from the entrance court see the most important process of the complex: the roasting itself. Also inside the building, transparency and natural daylight is an important element in designing a pleasant working environment in the production spaces as well as offices. Open plan and views to working spaces of other groups enable better communication between employees.

The Paulig Coffee Roastery won the Finnish Steel Construction Prize in 2009.


Arabia Gallery and public library

The industrial town block of Arabia is one of the largest building entities in Helsinki. The Arabia porcelain mill was built in several stages, starting in the 1870s.
The implementation of the Arabia Gallery is based on the winning entry of a competition arranged in 1998.
The core space of Arabia Gallery is the new tall and narrow gallery, which with its glass walls and roof splits the entire block.
The main gallery level contains the factory shop of Arabia, facilities for art and design businesses as well as a lobby cafeteria. The three upper floors contain mainly office facilities.

ᅠLarge glass roofed internal courtyards contain exhibition spaces and the mediatheque of the Aralis library centre, and can also be accessed from the gallery.
The renovated facilities deliberately show traces of the earlier construction stages, with the different stages visible in many places.


Fennia Headquarters

The Fennia headquarters is centrally located in Pasila, next to the headquarters of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. The building complex consists of two office buildings, both of five stories and two underground levels. They share an entrance hall between them. The high glass-walled courtyard is the spatial and functional heart of both buildings. Fennia headquarters has, among other things, a staff restaurant, versatile conference rooms and exhibition spaces. On the top floor there is also a gym and sauna for employees to work out and relax in. Materials used in the facades are glass, aluminium and green glazed ceramic tiles.

Fennia headquarters is designed to suit businesses’ needs. Its spatial solutions are characterized by flexibility and adaptability. The office floors can easily be divided into many different office spaces. Perceptive layout solutions maximize the amount of natural light in the working environments.