Beyond face-to-face?

Blog post by MoA master Jussi Vuori

19 May 2012

Finland has a great potential as a host for international congresses. The expanding capital Helsinki is redefining its role in the network of Northern European capitals. The Future Congress Center firstly takes a closer look at typology, that has been neglected by research and secondly proposes a new type of flexible structure, that serves as a framework for new encounters.

Collaboration on an international level has increased the number of international meetings held in Finland. Finland plays a remarkable role as a partner in crisis management initiatives. Against this background very little effort has been put into the research of meeting- and congress-space. As a consequence the related terminology is often confusing and the different typologies of meeting space hard to distinguish from one another. The first part of my diploma looks at different definitions and how they can be applied to the current congress typologies in The Helsinki region.

Existing Congress Centers in Hki
Meetings History in Hki

The aim of the massing of the future congress center is to make use of the opposites demands such as small-big, private- public, formal-informal, in order to create a interesting structure. A slab is gradually twisted so that a large span congress center can be housed at the one end, while a hotel with smaller span occupies the other. The ground floor resembles an agora. Larger meeting spaces are fitted in between the tubes, while functions in need of privacy can be located inside the tubes.

Bending Concept
Study Models

The facade both exposes the cell-like structure and enhances the smooth appearance of the twisting slab. Copper oxided concrete panels are rapped around the steal structure and insulation layer. Thereafter the entire building is covered by a layer of glass panels. Concave shaped panels in front of the windows render a visual impression of the surface being under vacuum pressure. The bottom surface of the exposed tubes is made out of cast concrete. Inside the building the material palette becomes softer as more small scale spaced are introduced.

Aerial View


Park View
Section through the main auditorium
Site Plan

The employment of algorithmic code enables the development of a flexible structure, that can be altered throughout the design process. Design based on such a generative computer model has made possible a new type of process, where alternative space layouts aren’t defined by a definite choice of massing early in the process. The proposed algorithm adjusts the structural grid to the changes made to the shape. The load bearing structure of vierendeel beams in steal forms 12 meter long tubes or space units.

Algorithmic Structure - Choosing Paths
Algorithmic Structure - Creating Structural Tubes
Algorithmic Structure - Final Vierendeel Trusses


Space in the Superstructure - Main Lobby
Space in the Superstructure - Main Auditorium



Please tell us who you are:

  • Nobody has left a comment, yet - you can be the first to leave a message here!