Helsinki Music Centre, 2011
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Used material: Nordic Green
Located in a pivotal city location facing the Parliament House, the Helsinki Music Centre, which opened in 2011, exemplifies a considered approach to combining copper surfaces, forms and systems.
LPR Architects’ competition-winning initial design included a solid green mass, reflecting and terminating the nearby public park, always envisaged in pre-patinated copper cladding. During the detailed design phase the architects worked closely with Aurubis in developing softer façade treatments, reflecting the project’s ‘Mezzo Voce’ (silent voice) theme and contextual approach.
Architect Marko Kivistö explained: “We developed an exceptional working relationship with Aurubis, following cooperation on a previous project. Aurubis experimented with and tested a pierced leaf motif, then we moved on to more abstract patterns of cut-out rectangles.
Finally, we settled on vertical patterns defined by press-moulded circular dimples and pierced circles which are less aggressive but still give texture and life to the surfaces seen at different distances. Copper has a human touch! Different patination levels were also trialled and we settled on Aurubis’ Nordic Green Living 1, although solid green was used for perforated panels over ventilation plant to mitigate the dark holes”.
Marko Kivisto is also experimenting on other surface treatments with Aurubis technical experts to apply photographic images, including silkscreen printing of patina. He said: “One small project uses images of nature – water, stone reeds – as an integral part of Nordic Green and Blue material. Then inside, other natural forms such as lichen were cut into Nordic Brown sheet. Being able to work closely with experts like Aurubis, keen to investigate new possibilities, is essential for designers.”