Architects who design Finnish cultural buildings trust in Alupro’s expertise

When designing prominent cultural objects, such as libraries, architects and architectural offices seek as partners experts that carry out their vision without compromising on technical functionality or durability. A Finnish expert in architectural surfaces, Alupro has participated in the realisation of dozens of cultural facilities that not only look stunning but also endure the wear and tear of decades of heavy use in challenging conditions. Alupro can realise the architect’s vision in a manner that is both weather-resistant and visually satisfying.

Three world-class projects

Alupro has participated in the realisation of dozens of cultural projects, such as libraries, in Finland. Three of them are presented here with one thing in common: each of them presented its own architectural challenges, and the final outcome of each project has attracted major interest in Finland and internationally.

Oodi Helsinki Central Library: Alupro louvres keep frost off glass surfaces

In December 2018, one of the projects celebrating the centennial of Finnish independence, the new Oodi (Ode) library, was opened in Helsinki city centre. The modern library building, designed by ALA Architects, pays tribute to Finnish education, equality and freedom of expression. The ALA architects responsible for designing Oodi are Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki and Samuli Woolston.

Oodi is a public space open to everyone. It is located opposite the Parliament House in the heart of the city. In addition to traditional library services, Oodi offers a café, restaurant, cinema, art, studios and an urban makerspace. The design process listened to and engaged with service users to make sure that Oodi met their needs and wishes. There are various unique construction solutions that require special skills of the builder, such as the two arcs of steel that support the whole structure.

Alupro participated in implementing the architectural surfaces inside the Oodi building, such as the suspended ceilings, walls and floors. In addition, Alupro aluminium and stainless steel louvres were embedded in the facade. Oodi has large amounts of glass surfaces, so the Alupro louvres made it possible to realise the architect’s vision. The louvres guide air onto the glass surface, keeping it free of frost and condensation.

Savonlinna Main Library Joeli: The figures in the mesh facade made of steel and aluminium tell a story

The Savonlinna Main Library, Joeli, was completed and opened to the public in September 2013. The building was designed by Heikkinen-Komonen Architects with architect Markku Puumala as the main designer. The designers were tasked with placing the new library building in the beautiful lakeside scenery while giving it the distinctive aura of a cultural facility.

The library facade is made of untreated Siberian larch that turns beautifully grey with age. It is decorated with a wire mesh that was designed by graphic designer Aimo Katajamäki and manufactured by Alupro The mesh on the facade was, per the architect’s wishes, designed to look hand-made. The facades on both sides have the same figures (such as an owl, ballet dancer and Saimaa ringed seal) that tell a story about culture, but in different order. The mesh frame is made of steel and the figures of aluminium. The prominent, unique mesh on the facade protects the library building from sunshine while reducing the amount of energy needed for cooling it.

Seinäjoki Main Library Apila: Alupro facade louvres part of the spectacular copper wall

The Seinäjoki main library, Apila, was opened in August 2012. The library building was designed by JKMM Architects, based in Helsinki, who won the invitational architecture competition in 2008, and the main architect was Asmo Jaaksi. The library building is next to the Alvar Aalto-designed cultural and administrative centre that dates from 1964. This architecturally interesting new building, designed to fit into the challenging, valuable Alvar Aalto urban environment heritage, has been nominated and awarded in several architectural competitions, both in Finland and internationally.

From above, the shape of the building resembles that of a clover, or “apila” in Finnish. The design was also influenced by the Japanese art of origami. The copper facade is decorated with a scale-like pattern. The adjacent Alvar Aalto buildings also contain copper elements. Alupro manufactured the louvres used in the spectacular copper facade.

Why Alupro?

Many of leading Finnish architects' offices have decided to partner with Alupro, a reliable and experienced player with a highly competent and motivated staff and extensive, multidisciplinary experience in the field. Alupro experts’ enthusiasm and drive to solve their customers’ challenges covers the entire planning process. Architects also praise Alupro professionals’ open-minded attitude, which involves thinking of challenges as welcome opportunities. The experts at Alupro understand the architect’s vision and know which solutions to propose; they are architect-friendly and take the project further towards the desired outcome.

In addition, Alupro can provide its customers with new, innovative products and solutions that other providers simply do not have. The key to providing this service is the Alupro manufacturing site in Tuusula that makes it possible to customise products. Alupro manufactures its durable high-quality products in Finland, drawing on decades of experience in the field.

Alupro participates in the design phase

To ensure the best possible outcome in every project, Alupro participates in the design process from the beginning. The Alupro experts work in close collaboration with architects and designers, ensuring at each step that the desired vision can become reality in the best possible way. The early stages of planning and making the right decisions are key to success. For Alupro, architects are more than just customers; they are partners with whom its experts collaborate closely. The architects can concentrate on their innovations and visions, while Alupro does its part in making those visions reality.

Thanks to its broad design competence, Alupro can build the most imaginative structures at its Tuusula factory. The company’s manufacturing facilities make it possible to tailor products to each customer’s wishes. The experienced experts at Alupro can also give advice on the fastening of various materials and other technical solutions, for example. Aluminium, copper, brass and stainless steel are the main materials that Alupro uses in its production. Other materials, such as glass and timber, are also becoming more and more common in the solutions that Alupro provides.

3D models facilitate visualisation

Visualisation is an essential part of an architect’s work that facilitates the process of designing a building and marketing the object to the customer. Alupro can provide the architect with data model objects and valuable additional details early on in the process, allowing architects to truly concentrate on the creative process and building their vision of the project. The 3D data models that Alupro provides support Revit users’ design work, making the process more effective.

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