DLA Piper’s New Office: Blending Heritage with Modernity

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Technical Details

Official Project Name: DLA Piper
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Client: DLA Piper
Architect: Original architect Alvar Aalto (1962), principal design of the revision Ark-Byroo (2022)
Interior Design: Fyra
Fyra Design Team: Niina Sihto, Tiina Närkki, Maija Leskelä
Project Sector: Workplace Design
Project Completion Date: December 2022
Photographer: Riikka Kantinkoski

In the heart of Helsinki’s bustling Katajanokka neighborhood stands an architectural gem, Alvar Aalto’s iconic “Sugar Cube” building, once the headquarters of Stora Enso. In 2022, Fyra, a design powerhouse, embarked on a journey to transform this historic space into a contemporary masterpiece as DLA Piper‘s new office. This article delves into the architect, design concept, and the delicate equilibrium achieved in this remarkable project.

Architectural Heritage

Alvar Aalto’s genius is evident in the monolithic beauty of the “Sugar Cube” building, a landmark since 1962. The challenge for Fyra was to preserve the historical significance while infusing modern functionality. Ark-Byroo, the project’s principal designer, collaborated closely with the Finnish Heritage Agency and the Alvar Aalto Foundation to ensure every design decision honored the past.

Designing the Future

DLA Piper‘s vision was clear: create a contemporary, esteemed space within the iconic walls. Recognizing the staff’s transition from individual offices, Fyra prioritized meeting rooms, phone booths, and quiet zones. But it didn’t stop there. Specialized spaces like a webinar room, a library, and a recreation area were incorporated to cater to diverse needs.

The Devil is in the Details

A testament to Fyra’s dedication is found in the intricate details. Inspired by the building’s unique design language, solid wood pulls adorn veneered wardrobes, and brass moldings, reminiscent of the stairwells, grace the stone joints of the reception desk. These details seamlessly blend old and new.

A Breathtaking View

A jewel in DLA Piper‘s crown is the semi-public lounge offering panoramic views of Helsinki Market Square and the sea. This space, accessible to both employees and visitors, epitomizes the balance between heritage and modernity. It’s a testament to how Fyra’s design carefully considers the building’s historic value.

In conclusion, Fyra’s transformation of DLA Piper‘s Helsinki office stands as a testament to the harmonious blend of history and innovation. It showcases how a team of architects and designers can honor the past while shaping the future within the walls of an iconic architectural masterpiece. This project is a symbol of the enduring legacy of Alvar Aalto’s vision and the creative brilliance of Fyra.

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