This zigzag volume clad in luminous white glass skin is inspired by fragmented glacier. The new luxury hotel aims to convert the Hakaniemi waterfront into a vibrant part of Helsinki.
Famous Snøhetta design studio has won the invited design competition for a new hotel on the Hakaniemi waterfront in Helsinki, Finland. Snøhetta’s design proposal, Hilbert’s Hotel, was announced as the winning entry during a press conference in Helsinki, following a competition arranged last year by AB invest A/S, the City of Helsinki, and the Finnish Association of Architect.
Hilbert’s Hotel will be a new symbol of Helsinki, recognizable not only for the environment created for hotel guests and employees, but also for the qualities afforded the public at large. The design seeks to achieve a scale that is contextual to form a harmonious relationship with the surrounding urbanity and landscape as well as with the community as a whole.
“We have tried to actively celebrate the presence of visitors in the city. Simultaneously, we have tried to promote the qualities, such as the connection to the water, of this specific site as a gift to the visitors and inhabitants of Helsinki. This mutual task is at the core of architectural creations. The City of Helsinki and Arthur Buchardt are the best possible partners in the realization of a building Helsinki deserves,” explained Snøhetta founding partner Kjetil T. Thorsen.
The design clearly articulated a public and private domain, where the public domain forms the foundation of the hotel. The hotel rooms are lofted above the stepped plaza landscape, revealing public functions related to the hotel and legible thoroughfares across the site. Maintaining a high degree of permeability of the plaza is an essential element for the design, ensuring access to the water and connectivity across the site and with the wider neighborhood.
The private domain of the project, the hotel rooms, are enveloped in a smooth contiguous white glass skin
that is in direct contrast to the surrounding, heavily punched facades. The panelization of the facades, reminiscent of broken sea ice, is expressed by small joints. This distribution of panels is in fact a modular repeatable pattern that is related to the hotel rooms. The external appearance shifts as the hotel is used throughout the day. Façade transparency becomes apparent with guest occupancy, whilst at the same time maintaining the contiguous monochromatic surface pattern. Each room has a number of windows within this pattern of which one is operable.
Inviting people into both the public spaces and the hotel, with functions such as restaurants, bars, outdoor seating, and rooftop terraces, the hotel willcontribute to making the Hakaniemi waterfront a vibrant part of Helsinki.