Sauerbruch Hutton as Architects

Low2No is a new community dedicated to sustainable living and supported by the most advanced technologies. It is the first phase of the largest redevelopment in modern Finnish history, the conversion of Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari district from 100 hectares of neglected docklands to a new urban neighbourhood, and is an empirical prototype for future sustainable community building in Finland as a whole.

The development consists of five buildings including the new headquarters for Sitra, the Finnish innovation fund, as well as offices and residential units. In addition green spaces are planned for recreation, while a generous community infrastructure includes an eco-laundrette, a public sauna and “c_life” – a multi-purpose community centre. The buildings are arranged around a Y-shaped public space as a locus for civic life.

The project is anchored by the Sitra headquarters building. Six storeys high, it will be the tallest and most complex building in the world to be structured entirely in timber. The Sitra Headquarters seeks to provide a replicable example of how industrialised all-timber construction can serve sustainable architecture on a larger scale. Inside, civic amenities include an auditorium, library and café, with public circulation throughout. The higher floors include ‘satellite’ area – affordable high-profile office space for functions which are tangential to Sitra’s core programmes, such as start-up businesses, collaborations and consultancy processes. The building has garden terraces and a central atrium to bring daylight and natural ventilation to each workplace. As a whole Low2No will exemplify and promote systematic change in building practices and in conscientious urbanism moving towards a low-to-no-impact future for our cities without compromising spatial quality and beauty.

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