Arctia - Icebreakers Headquarters

Docked icebreakers are an essential part of the Katajanokka-shore environment. The new headquarters of Arctia Shipping Ltd. is placed in a floating office building in front of the listed main building of the Finnish ministry of Foreign Affairs which was originally designed by C.L.Engel.

© Mika Huisman

The horizontal massing and customized black steel facades relate to the black hulls of the adjacent icebreaker ships. The headquarters building can be seen as one the vessels.

©Marko Huttunen

The interior of the black “steel ship” is constructed of lacquered wood which related to earlier ship building traditions. The facades of the building are made of customized wave pattern steel profile. There is a gradient and abstract pattern perforated on the steel profiles which relates to ice crystals and sailor textile patterns.

The building was completed in a shipyard in western Finland and towed to site. There is a water ballast system which will maintain the floor level of the office building in the same level as the dock.


Architects: K2S Architects, Kimmo Lintula, Niko Sirola & Mikko Summanen
Client: Arctia Shipping Ltd
Area: 950 sqm
Construction designer: Eero Kotkas
Completed: 09/2013