All posts by gullsten-inkinen

We reduced our carbon foot print

It is very important for us to take the environment into account in all our activities. Interior Architects Gullstén & Inkinen Oy was Finland’s first design office in 2010, which was accepted into WWF’s Green Office network. We have been carbon neutral since 2019. For our part, we want to slow down climate change and strive to do so by creating visually and physically sustainable spaces, favoring environmentally friendly manufacturers and suppliers, and developing space efficiency and taking into account the life cycle of materials.

The company’s carbon footprint

Sustainable development has been central to our company’s operations since its inception. Our carbon footprint for the calendar year 2021 has been calculated in cooperation with Reforest Finland Oy. The calculation is based on the international GHG Protocol standard, which allows companies to determine the greenhouse gas emissions of their operations.

Most of our emissions are caused by the heating of our premises. This makes up about 41% of total emissions. The next largest source of emissions was about 26% of workers’ journeys between home and work. Travel to and from work were minimal due to the corona pandemic. From the comparison year 2019, emissions have been reduced by less than half. The total carbon footprint has dropped from 26.4 CO2e tonnes to 10.8 CO2e tonnes. Our results are really small compared to other companies with the same number of employees that do not have production operations.

According to the final report, Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture operates with very low emissions and large reduction measures are not very easy to implement. Emission reductions have been made significantly compared to the previous calculation. Despite the fact that our carbon footprint is already small, we want to offset emissions. We will be planting new pine seedlings in Finland this year during their planting season, after which we can say that we are again a carbon-neutral company.

The carbon footprint of our customer projects

We have also developed our own calculation tool “Interior Carbon Footprint Calculator” for our customer projects, which can be used in design work to minimize the carbon footprint. The designer can evaluate the material and other choices he / she has made in the design work from the point of view of carbon load. Gaia Consulting has assisted in the development and auditing of the tool. Business Finland.

We offer our customers the opportunity to utilize this tool as part of interior design to integrate carbon load minimization into the design right from the start. The end result of using the tool is a carbon load calculation of how much carbon the new interior will produce for nature.

GI repairs and builds

In addition to various interior design projects, we are avid building renovators. Here are a few ongoing or completed projects that our team of architects have been involved with.

Orion Corporation’s head office
Our largest ongoing renovation project is the renovation of Orion Corporation’s head office, originally designed by architect Juhani Katainen. We work there as chief and architectural designers in addition to interior design. The building’s exterior windows and building technology will be renovated, and the interiors will be almost completely renovated. The construction site is already underway and should be ready by spring 2023. Below is a picture of the construction site.

KOy FMO Tapiola
We are the customer’s designer in the office space change on the 4th floor of KOy FMO Tapiola. The building was originally designed by architect Pekka Helin. At the request of the property owner, we were responsible for transferring the space concept prepared by the customer to implementation plans. The facilities were completed in early February.

Hämeentie 19 ja Käenkuja 3
In the spring of 2020, the repair of the protected windows of the oldest part, the high part of Hämeentie 19, was started. Next is the renovation and replacement of the windows in Käenkuja 3. This is an interesting job, because the windows of this well-built house can be partially repaired at a reasonable cost, without the need to replace them.

Success in International Property Awards

Great news! Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture has been awarded in International Property Awards. The award came in Office Interior -category with the Nokia One project, which was implemented in the Nokia Espoo campus in 2019.

 

The assignment was to transfer Nokia’s head office operations from one building in the Nokia Campus area, Espoo, Finland to another (owned by Nokia) office building built in 2008. The architectural and interior design task included reception and lobby area, restaurant, conference center and office space. The main idea of the visually impressive lobby was to create a groundbreaking concept and an interesting window to the world of Nokia.

The starting point for the restaurant area was to create a multifunctional space and make the restaurant services more effective so that they serve the whole Nokia campus. The plan was to make this area an essential and important part of Nokia’s co-working space.

The International Property Awards are open to residential and commercial property professionals around the globe. They celebrate the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry. An international Property Award is a world-renowned mark of excellence. That is why we can proudly congratulate the whole design team on a wonderfully accomplished project.

The level of our Award will be revealed on Friday 11th December at the Red Carpet Virtual Event. We raise our glasses in advance for the success – cheers!

2020 Ornamo Award nomination

At the beginning of the summer we were pleased to be informed that Hanna Gullstén and Jari Inkinen were shortlisted for the 2020 Ornamo Award. Since 2015 has the Ornamo design award been a prestigious collegial recognition for the successful pioneers in their fields.

Hanna and Jari were shortlisted for their decades of experience of design work. Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture has been running successfully over more than 30 years. In that time there have been total 145 employees working in the agency both in domestic and international creative projects. Since the beginning of their career, Hanna and Jari have been driven by values of sustainable development. The pioneer work in the field took a step forward in 2020 when GI became Finland’s first carbon neutral design agency. Today we can offer our clients a valuation of their carbon footprint as a new service. The winner of 2020 Ornamo award is selected in September by Ornamo board’s appointed external expert. Rosa Liksom will select the winner this year.

Hanna Gullstén and Jari Inkinen. Image: Anni Koponen

Greetings from Stockholm Furniture Fair 2020

The Stockholm Furniture Fair 2020 was held again in February. Our designers were delighted to attend the fair, experience the top trends for the year and return to Helsinki with great new inspiration. Here are top three themes to observe for the year 2020, selected by our designers.

Colors
Pantone announced the timeless and elegant Classic Blue as the Color of the Year 2020.
The color Classic Blue was well displayed at the fair stands. In addition to the color of the year, both the exhibition stands and the furniture displayed a diverse color palette. Pastel hues were turned into more muted 70s shades and as a contrast to the muted tones, there were also deep and bright colors at the stands.

Tukholman huonekalumessut Magis
The Color of the Year ‘Classic Blue’ at Magis fair stand

Tukholman huonekalumessut Magis
Orange color tones at Magis stand
Tukholman huonekalumessut 2020
Johanson Design

Forms
Playfulness was a key word in the forms of furniture. Pieces of furniture were designed to have round shapes and fun details, creating relaxed overall look. Those fun curved shapes were also part of the interior at many fair stands. Edgy graphic design was featured especially on large floor and wall surfaces.

Tukholman huonekalumessut 2020
Soft and round forms of Mitab furniture
Tukholman huonekalumessut 2020
Baux combined striking geometric shapes with deep colors
Tukholma huonekalumessut 2020
Johanson Design Stroll -stools
Tukholman huonekalumessut 2020
Magis stand

Ecology and Design
A strong theme at this year’s fair was the ecological design which reflected at the fairs stands of several manufacturer. Many products were developed from recycled materials or there were no new products released for the year 2020. In addition to recycled materials, different wood types were commonly used.

Tukholman huonekalumessut 2020
The seat material of the Houe Falk chair is made of recycled plastic
Tikholman huonekalumessut 2020
New Poiat Lavitta Barstool

Thank you for the inspiration Stockholm, we are already looking forward the next year!

GI goes carbon neutral

Sustainable design has been embraced at Gullstén & Inkinen Design and Architecture since the foundation of the company. Last year GI celebrated its 30th birthday, so a lot has been done for the environment during the years.

GI hopes to slow down the climate change with sustainable choices and practices, and to increase the awareness of environmental issues and ecological efficiency. In 2010, we became the first design agency in the world to be admitted in the WWF Green Office Network, thanks to our long-standing commitment to sustainable practices. Even though we have recently withdrawn from the Green Office-certificate, the sustainable practices still live strong in our office. For instance, GI has bought ecological electricity which is produced with bio energy, wind power and hydropower in small local power plants, since 2011. Ekosähkö produces eco energy that is certified by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.

GI is Finland’s first carbon neutral design agency

For a long time, we have noticed in our work that people are more and more interested in the environmental issues. We want to enforce this trend with our work. We want to be forerunners of the industry and show how to take sustainable way of thinking into the design process and practices with our own example. We create visually and functionally sustainable spaces, prefer ecological producers and suppliers, and increase the efficiency of spaces by taking into consideration the lifecycle of materials. This way, we encourage our customers towards sustainable and ecological thinking”, summarizes Hanna Gullstén, Creative Director and one of the founders of GI.


Measurement of our carbon footprint

During Fall 2019, we have evaluated the current carbon footprint of our agency. Most of the emissions come from our employees’ trips between their home and workplace. We have succeeded to minimize the work-related travelling by using digital communication. The carbon footprint of GI is remarkably lower than the reference value of WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator for the companies of the same size locating in the building of same age in Helsinki area. This was, however, not enough for us. We wanted more”, states Jari Inkinen, CEO of GI.

We used Ilmastoapu Oy as an external consultant to calculate our annual carbon emissions and to give us instructions on how to compensate our carbon footprint. We decided to compensate our annual carbon emissions of 27 tonnes by supporting a Solar project in a village of Sanwreej, located in Jodhpur India. This project is run in cooperation with Gold Standard Foundation.”

Carbon neutral design

Our mission is to make our carbon handprint even bigger in the future. Carbon handprint means that, in addition to being carbon neutral ourselves, we help our clients to reduce their own carbon footprint. This is achieved by offering them even more ecological design solutions both functionally and sustainably.
In the future we will issue an Annual Carbon Statement to report the sustainability of our practices.

Solo Sokos Hotel Paviljonki recognized by the Oscars of hotel industry

Solo Sokos Hotel Paviljonki received the award for Best European Luxury Modern Hotel in the World Luxury Hotel Awards gala held on 12.10.2019.

This is not the first rodeo for Solo Paviljonki. World Luxury Hotel Awards – also known as the Oscars for the hotel industry – has also awarded them in 2015 and 2017. Earlier awards include e.g. Best Finnish Luxury City Hotel,  Best Northern European Design Hotel and Best Finnish Luxury Modern Hotel. This year the last mentioned award was received on the Continental level.

Gullstén-Inkinen has designed the spacious, bright and harmonious interiors of the restaurants and conference rooms of Solo Sokos Paviljonki. The goal was to create an easily approachable meeting place for the citizens and to ensure the flexibility of the breakfast area that also doubles as a private restaurant.

Hotel Paviljonki has been successful on other platforms as well. On TripAdvisor’s yearly Travellers’ Choice Top 25 -listing for 2019 they reached 8th place in the Finnish Hotels category.

GI 30 years – from a boiler room on Temppelikatu to an old bus factory in Vallila

Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture celebrates their 30th anniversary this autumn.

In 30 years we have grown from a two-person den into a design and architecture agency of over 20 people. During this time we have also seen many projects of different shapes and sizes. We have gone from designing private homes and exhibition stands to larger spaces such as hotels, restaurants and offices for international listed companies as well as adaptive reuse of existing buildings.

We have designed a couple of million square meters of space and are gazing forwards, towards a bright future.  When asked what he thinks of the company reaching the 30-year-milestone, CEO Jari Inkinen responds:

“I bet almost every Finnish adult has worked, studied, slept or at least eaten in premises we have designed. The results of our work have affected a great number of people and their daily lives. Although most of our work has been done in the Helsinki metropolitan area, our designs can be found far from our hometown Helsinki, up to Lapland, Moscow, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm – even Singapore and Shanghai. Still, our hometown is the dearest.”

We celebrate our 30th anniversary by driving around Helsinki in a tram. On the route, we have selected 30 of our design projects from the couple of hundred projects over the years. The list includes e.g. renovation of Cafe Vanha of the Old Student House (1988), Sanoma House (1999), Burger King on the Central Railway Station (2014) and headquarters of Amer Sports in an old storehouse in Vallila, among many others. Many a fun anecdote has originated from these sites, as different kinds of adventures often take place during the consturcion before the project is completed and the customer is satisfied.

GI office has been located on Lemuntie, at a former bus body factory in Vallilan Akseli building. Today, a staff of over twenty architects, interior architects, work environment consultants and other experts in their field, work in these premises. Design projects underway include Telia’s new headquarters in Pasila’s Tripla complex, SOK’s hotel in Kupittaa, Turku, renovation of Hotel Klaus K on Bulevardi and Uusikumpu elementary school in the former Outokumpu headquarters in Espoo. On top of this, we are currently working on approx. 50 other design projects at the moment.

Renovation and restoration of the historical Mikonkatu 9 property finished

The renovation of the historically significant property of Mikonkatu 9 in Helsinki center has been finished in early 2019. Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture was responsible for the principal and architectural design. The property is owned by insurance company Ilmarinen.

The building was designed by Jussi ja Toivo Paatela and built in 1929.

The property was originally built as a headquarters for Atlas Bank in 1929, so thorough renovation was due. The red bricks of the facade were mostly in such great condition that not much needed to be done. The interior, however, was outdated both in terms of the office spaces and technical systems. The modern-day tenants expect a lot from premises in the city center, and technology that dates back 20 years simply won’t do.

Something new, something very old…

The facade as well as part of the interior is protected under classification SR-1, which means that the building or its structures may not be changed or demolished so that their cultural historical or architectural value is compromised. Any and all renovations are to be negotiated with the museum authority.

– Together with the specialists from the Helsinki City Museum we found such design and implementation solutions that satisfy the goals of all parties, says Jari Inkinen, architect (SAFA) and interior architect (SIO). Inkinen is the principal and architectural designer of the project.

The floor was restored based on old black-and-white photos.

The renovation of the property was comprehensive. The interior structures, for example, were in most places stripped down to the concrete in order to avoid any problems with the air quality. On the other hand, auxiliary structures that had been added to the original structures at a later stage, were demolished to create more space. Parts of the street level interiors were also returned to their original glory: the dragons that were painted to protect the banking vaults as well as the floors of the old customer areas were completely restored.

– The pattern on the floors was reconstructed based on old black-and-white photos, Inkinen recounts. The colors were interpreted from small remaining fragments, and the new floor tiles were cut and glued on based on the photos. The glass ceiling of the old courtyard was demolished and was replaced by a new copper roof. The frame of the glass roof was left in place and artificial lights were installed inside the glass to recreate the ambiance of a glass roof.

Artificial lighting was installed behind the glass in the roof in order to recreate the ambiance of a glass roof.
The dragons, that were originally painted in the roof to protect the banking vaults, were restored during the renovation.

Flexibility and adjustability first

The main tenant of the eight-story-building is Epicenter Helsinki, who has been involved in the renovation project since the beginning. Epicenter provides flexible co-working spaces, innovation laboratories and event management, and the synergies of its subtenants are at the core of their operations. With this in mind, a lot is required from the design of the office space in the building: they need to be able to accommodate different sizes of companies in different stages of their life cycle.

There were also comprehensive changes in the common areas in the first and second floors of the building. A loft structure was built in the old banking hall, so that smaller spaces could be added on the second floor. By moving the transferable walls, the lower levels can be arranged into a two-storied auditorium for 200 people.

An auditorium for 200 people can be achieved by moving the transferable walls.

With the mobility of the employees in mind, a new stairway was added in the middle of the building, in addition to the two existing ones. This made the distribution of space more flexible in the upper floors – the offices in each floor can be rented out to five tenants instead of two. The commuters with bicycles were also taken into consideration by building washing facilities and bicycle parking, complete with a bicycle elevator, on the basement level.

The original ceilings of the building are absolutely beautiful.
An auxiliary roof structure was demolished from the hallway to create the sense of light and space.

 

This beautiful detail is from one of the doors.
The red bricks of the facade were so well-preserved that not much needed to be done with them.

Text: Essi Tenho
Interior photos: Aukusti Heinonen
Exterior photos: Mikael Lindén

Read more about the Mikonkatu 9 property: The renovation of Mikonkatu 9 proceeds to topping out

Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture is a creative design agency with experience and vision. We design solutions that have a small carbon footprint and a big heart.

Our team consists of architects, interior architects, graphic designers, workplace consultants, service designers and project engineers. Our design projects cover adaptive reuse of buildings, working environments, commercial facilities, showrooms, restaurants, hotels and learning environments.

Read more about our projects.