Fingrid, Länsisalmi Power Station
The architectonic concept derives its inspiration from electricity and its visual manifestation: light. The juxtaposition of energy flowing through the power station with the flow of vehicular traffic passing by the site inspired us to create a visually attractive and memorable architectural entity.
The construction project dealt with the expansion and renewal of Fingrid’s 400 kV Länsisalmi electric power station. Electricity is transmitted from Fingrid’s main grid through the power station to the residents of Vantaa and Helsinki. In addition to the necessary changes to the grid and its portals, a new GIS building of 400 kV and another main transformer bunker of 400/110/20 kV was constructed on the site. The façade of the old main transformer bunker was renewed. Near the end of the construction phase, an old monitoring building and a switchyard located on the site were demolished.
The power station is sited at a highly visible location at the corner of Ring Road III and the Porvoonväylä highway. Because of this location, one of the main goals of the architectural design was to create a visually attractive and memorable urban landmark. The placement of the building volumes on the site, as well as their plan configurations, follow functional requirements without setting any strict boundaries that would have inhibited creative and open-minded architectonic expression. Thus what is generally a greyish and nondescript transformer building became a gleaming lantern and an ordinary vertically trussed landscape portal became an approximately 50-metre-high classically arch-shaped icon for the area. The transformer buildings’ main materials are naturally coloured graphic concrete and glass. The façades’ most visible themes are cladding elements assembled from glass planks detached 600 mm from the main volume. When the interstice is illuminated in the evening, the lantern-like buildings express electricity as a visible phenomenon. The selected glass type provides a direct association with the glazed insulators used extensively in the electricity distribution industry. A switchgear room and its cable space underneath occupy the largest spaces in the 3-storey concrete-framed GIS building. Other technical facilities are distributed over three floors on the building’s southern side. The high arch-shaped landscape portal has been fabricated from Corten steel tubes with a diameter of 800 mm. Corten steel’s maintenance-free characteristic was an important factor in its selection for such a high structure. Corten’s natural and warm rusty colour resonates harmoniously with other materials of the façade both in natural light and in the evening. Unlike other façades illuminated from the interior, the landscape portal is illuminated from the exterior.
Principle and Architecture Design, BIM
World Architecture Festival 2018