Easton Helsinki by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects Empowers Car-Heavy Locale

PROJECT NAME Easton Helsinki
FIRMS Kuudes, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects
SQ. FT. 710,000 SQF

The freeway-riddled neighborhood of Itäkeskus in Helsinki, Finland, was in need of a little social glue: something that sparks joy in its residents as well as entices commuters to venture off the exit ramp. Enter Easton Helsinki, a 710,000-square-foot shopping center with community spirit.

Regulations require that new buildings adhere to the aesthetic of the area’s 1980’s red-brick edifices. But Kesko Corporation, the owner, was adamant that the mall not be another banal commercial endeavor. Able to modify the regulation, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects wrapped the facade in 100,000 rods, some glazed ceramic, others powder-coated aluminum, their reddish color in a randomized pattern. “The architecture needed to progress the urban landscape,” co-founder Ilmari Lahdelma says.

Easton Helsinki. Photography by Kuvio.

The inside was updated, too. Branding firm Kuudes not only spearheaded the four-story skylit interior but also polled locals for preferences. The result? Supporting social initiatives. Each month, shoppers vote on a cause, such as a children’s soccer team in need of funds, and a percentage of profits from the mall’s retailers and restaurants goes to the group. Now that’s good business.

Easton Helsinki. Photography by Kuvio.
Easton Helsinki. Photography by Kuvio.
Easton Helsinki. Photography by Kuvio.

> See more from the March 2018 issue of Interior Design