“It’s finally coming true” – the foundation stone of Meander was laid in Töölö
The foundation stone of Newil&Bau’s unique apartment building Meander was laid today on April 26, 2022 in Töölö, Helsinki. American architect Steven Holl, who designed the building, came to Finland for the occasion.
Meander, the proposal of the architecture firm of Steven Holl, who is known in Finland as the head architect of modern art museum Kiasma, won the invitational competition for infill development in the Taivallahti barrack area in 2006. After acquiring the rights to Meander, Newil&Bau began further planning in cooperation with Steven Holl Architects and its partner firm in Finland, ARK-house arkkitehdit Oy. The construction work has started, and the building will be updated to be in line with the Newil&Bau apartment concept while respecting Steven Holl’s original vision.
“It’s finally coming true,” say both Petri Ylivuori, CEO of Newil&Bau, and Meander’s Finnish head architect, Professor Pentti Kareoja from ARK-house arkkitehdit.
“It is a great joy to return to Helsinki,” says Steven Holl, “where the win of the competition for the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Arts changed my life. Now, our competition-winning design of 2006 for a space-shaping ‘meander’ within the existing urban block is being realized. The section gradually rises to face the bay, and the horizon where sea and sky meet reminds us of a place of the beginning of life. As John F. Kennedy said, ‘we all came from the sea… we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears.’”
Meander is a great example of timeless architecture. No changes have been made to the exterior of the building, but in other aspects, the complex has been redesigned to answer the needs of the residents. “The project has been a real test, and it has been great to see that the basic architectural solutions designed by Steven Holl have retained their vitality throughout the years,” says Pentti Kareoja.
“After Newil&Bau joined the project, Meander’s apartment distribution has been diversified, and Meander now houses a variety of different apartment types. The yard, interior design, common spaces, resident services, and ecological viewpoints have also been incorporated in the design in a new way,” Kareoja describes the changes. “We have created a kind of a miniature city inside the casing of the building,” he says.
Externally, Meander has kept its original shape and the layered structure in which wooden parts are protected by glazing. “Meander has been said to resemble a wooden ship in a glass bottle,” says Steven Holl, describing the zone of balconies with opening windows surrounding the wooden core. “The shapes of the building are used to create nicely sized yard spaces around the building,” Holl continues.
The framework on Meander will begin in June, from which point the shape of the house will begin to show on the site. The curved shapes inspired by a meandering river envisioned by architect Steven Holl are created on the site as a casting in place. The rising roof will be in place in the fall of 2023 and residents will be able to move in in the fall of 2024.
“The long wait has finally come to an end as the construction of Meander begins. When completed, it will be one of Helsinki’s new landmarks,” says Petri Ylivuori, CEO of Newil&Bau.
Petri Ylivuori, CEO, Newil&Bau, tel. +358 40 515 4155, firstname.lastname@example.org
Henry Ahlavuo, Growth and Marketing Manager, Newil&Bau, tel. +358 50 555 6070, email@example.com
Images and more information on Meander:
Newil&Bau is a consumer product company that provides beautiful and climate-friendly living experiences for urban dwellers. We design new apartments and renovate old buildings to provide unique Newil&Bau Homes with curated comforts and services. The company’s budgeted apartment sales will total approximately EUR 130 million in 2022, and the project portfolio is worth approximately EUR 400 million.