Save the Children Building

Glazing Manufacturer: Lumon Oy
Architectural Firm: Arkkitehtitoimisto Hannu Jaakkola Oy

When the project for building the new headquarters for Save the Children Finland in Helsinki started it was a joint venture that brought professional architects and children together. Children from a children’s school of architecture and environmental education were given the opportunity to participate in the planning of the Save the Children Tiukula-building. The architectural firm Arkkitehtitoimisto Hannu Jaakkola combined their professionalism and architectural knowledge with inspiring ideas and input from the children at the architectural school nearby.

The children among other things created fine mosaics for the building’s main lobby, bathroom facilities and recreation rooms, and paintings to decorate the corridors of the office floors.  The children also inspired and helped create the exterior mosaic tiling, following a story poem.

The building has a cubicle basic form and the overall architectural design of the house is inspired by the architects’ eye for expressions that shall reflect the nature of activities by the Save the Children foundation.

When entering the main entrance you walk under a spectacular scheme of glass plates in different colours. These are made out of laminated glass with Vanceva® interlayers and are especially spectacular in the evenings when they are lit up. These laminated glass with coloured interlayers are also found in other places of the building, such as the façade, sliding doors etc. Colour and shapes are some of the elements of the facades that all f ind their way in to the building.

The building fulfills a long-standing dream to have the basic children protection and new functions of the organization under one roof. The building offers vast facilities for various therapy services, rehabilitation, group gatherings and family meetings. It is, as can be seen also on the architecture, no ordinary office building, but also a place for children.

Marjut Helminen, Head of Information for Save The Children, Finland says their wish was to have a house where both the exterior and the interior reflects that it is a building made by and for children and in which the work would be done to benefit the children in most grave situations. The laminated glass with coloured interlayers gives brightness to the construction and makes the house look easy to approach for children who come here to seek help, to participate in peer groups and many other activities.

The colourful and relaxed façade of the building is different from the often restricted architecture of other Finnish modern office buildings. One challenge that had to be met during the construction is that the building is located between two challenging blocks.  On one side lies the functionalistic Olympic Village from 1952 and on the other side is the more recent building of Amer headquarters. The result is a building that today is a high-level architectural solution that is aiming to be a part of its surrounding.

Vesa-Jukka Vuorela from the Arkkitehtitoimisto Hannu Jaakkola Oy gives his view on the project and on their use of laminated glass with Vanceva® interlayers: “We wanted to create a building where the connection to the world of children was clearly visible. To do this we wanted to use a lot of colours. When the idea of using laminated glass in different colours came up, we tried around twenty different configurations of the interlayers from Vanceva® before we chose five of them.  It was really interesting and easy but most of all fun to use them in the architecture”.