The European Chemicals Agency’s new headquarters are located in Helsinki’s Punavuori district. The project was completed at the end of 2019 and the staff moved in during January 2020. When the old shipyard closed and was vacated, the new zoning plan was created for the whole area, dedicating it to residences, cultural spaces, shops and offices. The new building has 8 floors; one basement floor and HVAC room in the attic. The adjacent conference centre is connected to the main office building by a pedestrian catwalk. As the old shipyard’s carpentry workshop was given a protected status by the new zoning plans, it was preserved and integrated into the new office building. The original structure was designed by Theodor Höijer and built in 1899. Grey granite was used to build both foundation and plinths while the facades were clad in red brick. Three original exterior walls were left exposed at the western side of the building, while its fourth wall opens onto the atrium. The new building’s asymmetrical mansard roof and the facade were merged and uniformly clad in custom designed perforated Corten steel to create a seamless exterior. The office spaces open onto the atrium with the skylight that lets daylight flood in. ECHA’s Conference Centre is situated in the old engineering workshop, protected as well by the zoning plan. It houses several meeting rooms, conference and committee rooms in the "Black Box", as well as a restaurant and lounge spaces for various events. The original open structure with side galleries and two bright yellow bridge cranes was preserved, thus keeping the feeling characteristic of such factory halls. The “Black Box” is visually separate from the side galleries and accessed only by bridge walkways. It has been clad in untreated and perforated cold rolled steel plating.
L Arkkitehdit was responsible for both architecture and interior design. Photos by Tuomas Uusheimo