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Finland: AINOA Shopping Centre & TAPIOLA Bus Terminal

Planning public spaces means carefully selecting materials that can guarantee wear resistance and durability over time. In urban spaces, attention to environmental sustainability is a necessity that makes the planning phase increasingly responsible for the creation of a green architectural model. Environmental sensitivity is entrenched in SARC Architects, which has been creating architectural and interior design projects in the urban, public and commercial arenas for more than fifty years, with projects spanning stores, offices, hospitals, universities and museums. Strengthened by its significant experience in the building restructuring and transformation field, the studio was entrusted with the project to expand the AINOA shopping centre in Espoo.

A site since 2013, located in the vicinity of the Tapiola district, one of the oldest “garden cities” of Finland, the surrounding green urban space provided the inspiration for the extension work, completed in 2017, that has transformed AINOA into a complex able to combine the best features of a traditional city centre with those of a modern shopping centre. The shopping centre has been extended from 10.000 m2 to 30.000 m2 and can accommodate up to 50 stores, while work has already begun on the second phase of expansion that will see the appearance of apartments, additional shopping areas and restaurant/bar spaces.

Another specialism of the SARC Architects studio is the architectonic planning and design of interior spaces, conceived as places in which to live and work. In order to maximise resistance to external stresses while also ensuring environmentally compatible materials, designers opted for Laminam large ceramic slabs for both the interior cladding of walls and the building’s external façade. The colours selected included the natural tones of Calce Grigio and Bruno and Nero from the Ossido collection, for the interior, and from the Oxide series for the exterior: perfect for enhancing the light in the space thanks to oxidized metal’s ability to reflect sunlight.


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