In a couple of years, the Töölö neighbourhood will welcome a unique urban addition with Soulmade Helsinki, a sustainable spa and accommodation concept that provides an extension of its neighbours’ living room, as well as a space for community, mindfulness, fitness, spa and accommodation for locals and travellers alike. The place will be a combination of private and public space that is meant to cater to the different needs of Helsinki people and visitors.
Since this new space is meant to represent the values and vibes of its surroundings, inside and out, Soulmade organised an architectural competition in collaboration with SAFA, the Finnish Association of Architects. Five well-known Finnish architectural offices took part in the competition and faced a jury composed of the City of Helsinki, Soulmade, Helsinki Business Hub and independent representative appointed by SAFA.
The winning proposal came from Avanto Architects, renowned for their design of Löyly, a public sauna and a restaurant, which has become a landmark on the shores of Helsinki ever since its first sauna stones were heated in 2016.
“We are looking to create a sustainable, pavilion-like Soulmade & Spa that respects the Töölö functionalist architectural heritage. It will complement the nearby existing recreational services, sports, and bathing functions for everyone to use. A high-quality Sigurd Frosterus park is going to be built to the end of the cape and the popular coastal pedestrian route will run around the building and Taivallahti shoreline uninterrupted,” explain Anu Puustinen and Ville Hara, Avanto Architects.
The newest addition to Taivallahti is scheduled to open its doors in 2021.
“The spa and accommodation concept and the outdoor area surrounding it will diversify Helsinki's leisure services and develop the Taivallahti coastal area as a centre of recreation and leisure,” adds Rikhard Manninen, Head of Urban Planning Division, City of Helsinki. “Additionally, public spaces have been planned within the building and have the opportunity to become the attractive highlight of maritime Etu-Töölö. The objectives of the architecture competition took into consideration the precious scenery of Taivallahti as well as Helsinki city strategy, which aims to make the city carbon neutral by 2035."