The finish city of Vaalimaa, near the Russian border, is located halfway between Helsinki and St. Petersburg and is one of the most transited places in Europe. With 2 million people crossing the border every year, it is one of the places of commerce between the two countries. The commercial center offers various activities for visitors, particularly those coming from Saint Petersburg. The complex provides a shopping mall, a 152-room hotel, several restaurants and a casino. The complex is conceived as a light up landmark and, with his illuminated facade, requalifies the entire site and makes it a completely new place. The building, articulated in two volumes, has a homogeneous surface that can reflect and absorb the light during the day and has a soft glow during the night. Light accents are on entries, walkways, viewing terraces and all other areas of particular importance for visitors. The design for the new facade utilizes sustainable building concepts. The double-glass cavities of the volumes gather sun-heated air in winter or expel it in summer. The U-glass ultra-white back painted glazing system consists of unique, self-supporting glass channels and an extruded metal perimeter frame. The end result is a wall, facade or partition that obscures vision but allows light to pass through.
Project by Elke Stauber, in partnership with Maurizio Trovatelli
and with Valentina Del Motto, Chiara Scortecci, Sebastiano Ercoli and Filippo Bolognese (3D)
Consultant: Alfonso Senatore, Multienergy – Sustainability Think Tank