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JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Finland Architecture News - Jan 23, 2020 - 14:52   9838 views

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Helsinki-based architecture studio JKMM Architects has competed the new Kesko headquarters in Helsinki, which will be a new home of the company's 1800 members who are working for the retail group specialising in groceries as well as the building and technical trade. JKMM Architects was also responsible for the interior design of the building. 

Named K-Campus, the 36,000-square-metre urban city block creates a contemporary feel of the office environment which is future proofed for changes in working methods in years to come. The design of the building also provides a showcase for Kesko’s products and services.

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

K-Campus is located in a recent addition to the city: the Kalastama district. It enjoys a prominent position in Kalastama next door to the Redi shopping mall and within a stone’s throw from the metro station which has trains reaching central Helsinki within 10 minutes.  To the west, is the slaughter house area and the fast developing Suvilahti with its many services.  

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

"The K-Campus is made up an urban block with its own distinct identity. In Helsinki, the possibility to occupy a whole city block in this way is a rare opportunity and it has enabled not only a wholistic vision for the campus but has also resulted a strong architectonic presence," explained JKMM. 

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

The building complex embodies important values such as customer care and corporate responsibility. The architecture reaffirms these values through its interpretation of Modernist Scandinavian principles, highlighting durability and authenticity. The architects' approach also combines the immediacy of clarity of vision with care and attention for details and purposeful design.  

The campus has light brick elevations that have been laid in situ and that alternate with exposed fair-faced concrete as well as large panes of glazing. From the outside, the warm tones of timber used in the building’s arcades and roof terrace are visible and add another layer to the architecture’s sense of materiality.

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

The interiors reinforce the language of the building’s exterior. Architectural detailing combined with a pared-down approach to spaces that are generous and easily legible facilitates way finding throughout the Campus. The material palette has been selected so that it feels natural, for example, with its oak floors and ceilings lined in pinewood.  

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

"The interiors all wrap around a glazed atrium where a scaled up staircase is a visual focal point, acting as a meeting point as well as a symbol for communality," said JKMM Architects. 

"Meeting and presentation rooms are located on the first floor and, when opened up to the atrium staircase, enable the hosting of functions for up to 1000 people."

"The atrium stair has been designed so that it is easy on the foot, thereby inviting people in the building to use it rather than choosing to go up and down by lift," added the firm. 

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

A building that occupies a whole block in this way makes it possible to offer exceptionally spacious and flexible office accommodation on each floor. This has been important to the client, as Kesko has teams travelling from around the Helsinki area and congregating in the building.  

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

The variety of workspaces on offer ensures that individual needs and collaboration can be addresses in a convivial way.  The differentiation through colour palettes and the loose furniture selected for the office floors has ensured that each level has its own atmosphere. 

Throughout, there is a desire for the best possible acoustic environment which has led the interiors team to opt for specially designed ceilings and textiles to cover the floors.  

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

The result is a calm and serene sequence of workspaces.  The architects also introduced higher than standard ceiling heights for this type of building. This together with the strategic use of glazed surfaces ensures that the K-Campus interior feels uplifting and well-lit.

In addition to the actual office floors, the K-Campus restaurant, cafe and other break out spaces are equipped so that these too can be used as both meeting and working areas. 

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

A defining design principle for the project has been energy efficiency. Artificial intelligence has come to play a part in this by monitoring the building control systems for heating, lighting and air conditioning. The objective is to keep energy consumption as low as possible whilst still providing occupants as comfortable an environment as possible.  

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

Kesko-Campus will be Finland’s first office building to go carbon neutral in its waste management. The client and design team will be applying for both BREAAM and Green Office certification for the project.

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Image © Pauliina Salonen

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Site plan

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Section 1-1

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

Section 2-2

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

South facade

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

South facade

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

West facade

JKMM Architects completes K-Campus office building that also acts as a showroom in Helsinki

West facade

JKMM Architects recently won a competition to design new extension of National Museum of Finland. The studio also completed a new housing in Jyväskylä neighborhood of Finland. 

Project facts

Project name: K-Campus

Architects & Interior Design: JKMM Architects

Size: 36,000m2

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Building program: KESKO Corporation head office

Client: Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company    


JKMM Team

Leading architect, architect SAFA: Juha Mäki-Jyllilä 

Project architect, architect SAFA (2016-2017): Eero Kontuniemi

Project architect, architect SAFA (2017-2019): Mikko Lehto

All images © Mika Huisman unless otherwise stated. 

> via JKMM Architects