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Ulappatori residential area

Ulappatori is a five-building residential area in Espoo (FI), where there is, among others, a 13-storey building that has a distinctive façade consisting of specially developed graphic concrete. The vivid patterns extend throughout the entire surface and pleasantly diminish the building’s enormous appearance. Fish and crustaceans are among the recurring organic patterns. Abstract lines over the façade resemble flowing waves and provide the finishing touch for the patterns. When viewed from the distance, the maritime decorations blend in with the surface. They come into focus when approaching the building, causing it to appear even more vivid. With this aesthetically pleasing façade, a technically useful and economical solution was achieved, which in turn creates a long-lasting and beautiful setting.

The challenge for both the architect and constructor was to create a uniform, urban environment out of an old shopping centre, market square and parking garage. Architect Petri Rouhiainen succeeded together with graphic designer Aimo Katajamäki in meeting this challenge and creating an important new landmark for the cityscape.

“The buildings really stand out in the urban landscape. The attention to detail gives the area the value it deserves. The patterns on the buildings were inspired by the sea, the defining characteristic of the location,” says architect Petri Rouhiainen.

Graphic concrete was used for the entire façade of the buildings, creating a sustainable and beautiful environment as part of an urban development project. Graphic concrete is a proprietary technology manufactured and marketed by the innovative Finnish company Graphic Concrete. Graphic concrete enables attractive and durable patterns and images to be reproduced on prefabricated concrete surfaces, such as facades, walls, floors and pavement slabs.

“Graphic concrete allows designers to help create a rich and diverse urban environment,” says Aimo Katajamäki, who designed the patterns for the graphic concrete facades of Ulappatori.

The Ulappatori project has been recognised as Best of Best in the “Façade Product” category and Winner in the “Domestic Architecture” category at the 2014 Iconic Awards international architecture competition. It is also nominated as one of the finalists in Surface Design Awards 2015 in the category of housing exterior surface.

Collège Crevin (Ile et Vilaine)

Architect: Petri Rouhiainen
Graphic designer: Aimo Katajamäki

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