This is the part 2 for the Embassy Of Finland In Tokyo by Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd. The success of this project is architect attempts to harmonize between Finnish and Japanese culture and architectural form in this project.
+ Project description provided by Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd
“Aiki” is based on the use of universal and timeless values in architecture. Using the most durable mutual elements in Finnish and Japanese building culture a part of Finnish values has been delicately transferred to Tokyo. The “Aiki’s” outer shape is slightly reserved but holds a strong inner atmosphere. This comes from rich spatial design that leads the flow of natural light into the spaces and on the transparent surfaces in a delicate manner.
The modular general design seeks not only architectonic durability but also common links between Finnish and Japanese architectural forms. Structural order, repetition and transparency are the keywords of the design. The frame of the building will be wood. Wooden beams and columns create the structural frame that will be varied by use of different surface materials and by use of different space arrangements like green court yards. The design has several places suitable for Finnish works of art.
The facade is of silk screen printed / opalised glass cladding the wooden structural frame and it is the first layer of the facade. Behind that there is a free space for the air circulation, solar blinds; the last layer is the sound isolating glass/ solid wall structure. This application of double-facade can be used for controlling the air temperature and for assisting the ventilation.
Tokyo Building Code
The “Aiki” states the facts of the program and acts in the frame of the local building code. The Embassy and the residential building are independent, and their construction can be carried out separately. However, due to local building code the buildings are represented as joined (with 1 to 3 storeys high part) in order to fulfil the requirement of only one building unit. Otherwise the various regulations should be interpreted to concern two separate buildings – this would practically mean that the aimed program could not be carried out on the competition site. Therefore the buildings have common visual features – a unit consisting of two separate buildings. This idea does not exclude a totally independent architecture of the housing block but would certainly require more detailed negotiations with the local authorities.
The housing block is located on the southern part of the competition site allowing thus a maximal use of the building warrant. Consequently a reliable urban solution is created: the intersection is surrounded by residential buildings almost equally high. Both the Embassy and the housing unit will be served and maintained from the street running east-west (the traffic will be separated on the basement level).
The architecture is based on modular thinking. Both units can be developed separately if needed but also simultaneously. The facade with large opalised and silk screen printed glass elements is a feature combining both units. This allows variations that will give each unit their own identity.
The Embassy Building
The activities of the Embassy have been divided into sections grouping each function mainly into one floor. From the Main Entrance there is open entry to facilities of Tekes, Finpro, FinNode, Finnish Institute, also to the multifunctional space and to the large meeting room. Other spaces can be reached only through the security control. Both the Ambassador’s representative apartment and the private apartment have privacy and excellent views.
One of the main principles for the functional design of the Embassy has been to find good views by channelling them mainly through the terraces of the building. The least possible amount of active spaces of the Embassy is facing towards the housing unit. Instead, various inner court yards have been created to bring character and natural light into the spaces.
The Housing Block
A typical Japanese ”high level design” has been used for the design of the housing block. The order of the apartments has been represented schematically. The general design allows the northern facade to have a minimum of window openings.
+ Development data
Embassy’s room program 2856 m²
Total gross area of building site 14700 bm²
Embassy’s gross area 4660 bm²
Embassy’s underground car parking 1000 bm²
Residential building (parking included) 9040 bm²
+ Project credits
Architect: Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd
Project: Embassy Of Finland In Tokyo
Sampsa Palva, arkkitehti SAFA
Katri Rönkä, arkkitehti SAFA
Jukka Savolainen, arkkitehti SAFA
Motoki Kosaka, Nihon Sekkei, Inc.
Kaori Kondo, Nihon Sekkei, Inc.
Images provided by Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd
+ Click to part 1 for project images and press release