[Polytechnic Student Union Building] / Dipoli Kongressikeskus [Dipoli Congress Center]
[Dipoli Conference Center]
Education/Student Union, Exhibitions/congress hall
Education/centre for higher education
Reima Pietilä, Raili Pietilä
Concrete by reinforcement
Concrete is a relatively brittle material that is strong in compression but less so in tension.
To increase its overall strength, steel rods, wires, mesh or cables may be embedded in concrete before it sets. This reinforcement, often known as rebar, resists tensile forces. By forming a strong bond, the two materials are able to resist a variety of applied forces, effectively acting as a single structural element .
In this case, the concrete can be made by mixing the components directly on site, or it may be transported from a production plant in concrete-mixer trucks.
This method has the disadvantage of leaving the concrete exposed to the elements while it is setting. Whereas, with other methods, the environmental conditions can be controlled during setting, providing greater control over the outcome, with cast-in-place concrete a series of tests and protocols are necessary to verify its final strength.
- textured walls
- wooden formwork finish
- stamped concrete
- exposed aggregate concrete, colored concrete, etc.
Beams are the horizontal load-bearing elements of the frame. Columns are the vertical elements of the frame and act as the building’s primary load-bearing element. They transmit the beam loads down to the foundations.
State of Conservation
Like with the church in Tampere, by the same designers, here Alvar Aalto’s influence is clearly recognizable in the characteristic curved forms of the Dipoli building, an emblematic and experimental complex originally owned by the student union of the Helsinki University of Technology.
The concave and convex walls combine smoothly and make the building appear to have grown organically or naturally. In contrast, the less emblematic parts of the program are organized in a grid, clearly generating a front for the building – characterized by its expressiveness and its fragmented volume – and a back, noteworthy for its order and organization in keeping with basic practical criteria.
Although concrete is the dominant material in the structure, it is left exposed mainly in the interior of the building, while on the outside it is covered with copper sheet metal combined with wooden joinery.
The interior stands out for its delicate expressive use of exposed concrete, with complexity in the details, a careful execution, and quality in the final finishes. All this in an architecture of heightened spatial and geometric complexity, which generates surprising and varied interior spaces, with landscape-like qualities created by combining concrete with large blocks of uncut stone and the use of wood in multiple shapes and textures. This consideration in the treatment of the interior spaces extends to the exterior of the building through attentive landscaping and a mindful design of the surrounding spaces.
Uusimaa (Region) Greater Helsinki (Sub-region) 02150 Espoo
Fundación DOCOMOMO Ibérico