Art, design and functionality are all entwined in the urban planning of Kuopio. Good examples of this include the Art Plan, which adds artistic elements to town planning, and Kantti, the home of facts and fantasies linking the museum and the library. The functionality of the new district of Savilahti has also been enhanced through design.
TEXT MIKKO JAAKKOLA | PHOTOS HIILI & TIMANTTI AND PARTANEN & LAMUSUO
SPACES FOR INTERACTION
Local design company Hiili & Timantti has designed premises for KPY Novapolis. It has played a key role in projects such as Origo Cowork, which aims to create a new type of attractive work environment that inspires interaction between those working and studying in the area.
“COVID-19 and the subsequent shift to remote work were a turning point in office work. The new circumstances force us to rethink the environment that should encourage people to return to their workplace after working remotely. We cannot just continue established practices,” says Managing Director of Hiili & Timantti Tiina Mielonen.
“Our design was inspired by the thought that people with different jobs and roles have different needs when it comes to their working spaces. Some need a place where they can concentrate in peace, whereas others want to interact and connect with others.”
“The design of Novapolis aims to provide appropriate spaces for differ-
ent needs. In addition, the overall design guides people to naturally come into contact with each other. The goal is to increase interaction and thereby produce new cooperation opportunities and synergy benefits,” Mielonen sums up.
A SPACE, A WORK OF ART AND A LIVING ROOM FOR LOCALS
The creative work of another local design company, Partanen & Lamusuo Ltd., can also be admired at KPY Novapolis. In addition to the interior and the free-standing furniture of multi-purpose Restaurant Round, the architectural design company has designed the Origo Coworking and restaurant oasis, set to be completed in the beginning of 2022.
Founders of the company, architect Heikki Lamusuo and artist Jaana Partanen, are known for their public art, such as the works created for Kuopio University Hospital and South Karelia Social and Health Care District Eksote. One of the most recent projects is Palad Showroom in the centre of Kuopio, which is not only an exhibition space, but also a living room for locals and an installation art piece in itself.
“Palad showroom was born the way art often is, from inspiration. We have made all the surfaces with our own hands according to the artistic method. As we were building each wall, we did not yet know where the next one would go,” say Partanen and Lamusuo.
RECOGNIZED PERCENTFOR-ART PROJECTS
The pair have also been involved in several percent-for-art projects and have received recognition for their work: Partanen & Lamusuo Ltd. was selected as one of the three finalists to receive the Percentage Culture Award presented by the City of Jyväskylä. Among other factors, the award panel noted the company’s public artworks with international appeal that often combine design, art and architecture.
Design company Hiili & Timantti aims to create a new type of attractive working environment.