Leijona Tower

Hartwall Arena is the largest sports stadium and entertainment complex in Helsinki. The infrastructure of the arena is dimensioned to meet the peak demand during large public events. This happens 2 to 5 times a year in conjunction with such events as major ice hockey matches and rock concerts. For the remaining time the vast potential of the arena remains unused. The unused infrastructure could easily supply for another 50,000 square meters of new construction.

We propose a new building on the site to take this potential to use. Peak attenuation systems help overcome the large public happenings. The rough public space around the arena is upgraded simultaneously from an empty asphalt field into an exciting landscape of action. Site conditions provide clear starting points making a tall building the only sensible approach. The proposed tower is close to 120 meters tall and consists of apartments, offices, and a rooftop restaurant with a viewing deck. The podium contains a sports center with various sports programs. The roof of the podium extends the current deck surface of the Leijona Square providing for the public space in terms of green landscape and various sports uses like basketball and wall climbing.

The arena is separated from the surrounding city structure by two railways and massive road networks. They provide access for the stadium and the new project, and also result in the lack of neighbors who might potentially be disturbed by a tall building nearby. The project is a strong contribution to densification and diversification of the existing urban fabric of Helsinki. By building on the bad, we can add quality, usability, visibility, connectivity and sustainability to the area and the whole city of Helsinki.

NAME: Leijona Tower

TYPE: Commission, 2011

STATUS: Concluded

LOCATION: Helsinki, Finland

CLIENT: Harry Harkimo

PROGRAM: A mixed-use tower with housing, offices and a sports center

TEAM: ALA partners Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston with Aleksi Niemeläinen, Pekka Tainio, Gerard Gutierrez, Jyri Tartia, Yena Young, Yi Lin, Vladimir Ilic, Julius Kekoni, Ting-Ting Dong, Jyri Tartia, Petra Grisova and Theo Bellman

COLLABORATORS: Rory McGowan, Paul Dunne, Donal McDaid, John Noone and Adrian Ryan (Arup)