Get­ting to know Kok­ko­la Sports Park alliance, Team Sisä­ra­ta (‘Team insi­de lane’) — Pau­li Koi­vis­to from UKI Arc­hi­tects


Pau­li Koi­vis­to joi­ned UKI Arc­hi­tects in 1989. Since then, he has specia­li­sed in desig­ning hos­pi­tals and in refur­bish­ment pro­jects. Pau­li has also been invol­ved in the deve­lop­ment of VALO™, the ground-brea­king and user-orien­ted vir­tual design met­hod.

Pau­li says that the Kok­ko­la Sports Park pro­ject is chal­len­ging in terms of its arc­hi­tec­tu­ral design, yet it also has many inte­res­ting aspects. The pro­ject covers both new builds and the reno­va­tion of old buil­dings, and the park’s arc­hi­tec­tu­ral design caters for seve­ral dif­fe­rent user groups, each of which, of cour­se, has its own par­ticu­lar requi­re­ments. 

What expe­rience do you have of wor­king with alliances?

I’m invol­ved in the Poh­jan­kar­ta­no alliance, which is an example of a very inte­res­ting pro­ject. It’s a deman­ding ove­rall reno­va­tion of a school buil­ding. Just like the Kok­ko­la Sports Park complex, it also had seve­ral dif­fe­rent users and user groups, all of which nee­ded to be given care­ful con­si­de­ra­tion, and that pro­ject was also divi­ded into sub­pro­jects. The work began in 2015 and will be comple­ted this year as plan­ned. The Tays Heart Hos­pi­tal of Tam­pe­re Uni­ver­si­ty Hos­pi­tal was anot­her chal­len­ging and inte­res­ting pro­ject. I was the arc­hi­tec­tu­ral desig­ner in char­ge and depu­ty to the chief desig­ner.

Many lar­ger pro­jects have been execu­ted accor­ding to the alliance principle, and various con­struc­tion and design pro­jects, for example, apply this alliance model qui­te clo­se­ly. We work with seve­ral other cont­rac­tors as a team. I think this way of wor­king is here to stay, and I strongly belie­ve that the num­ber of col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve pro­jects will inc­rea­se dra­ma­tical­ly in the futu­re. 

How is the coo­pe­ra­tion wit­hin the alliance going?

This has got off to a very good start. We actual­ly star­ted wor­king toget­her at the com­pe­ti­tion pha­se because, even at that sta­ge, we had to think very care­ful­ly about what to do and how to do it. The bid­ding pha­se was qui­te a hea­vy process, real­ly. You don’t get anyw­he­re now with refe­rences alo­ne; eve­ry offer needs to be meticu­lous­ly con­si­de­red, which requi­res a huge amount of effort. You have to take com­pe­ti­tions serious­ly: if you go for it, you have to put your heart and soul into it right from the start. The pres­su­re is also con­si­de­rable, of cour­se, because if you lose the com­pe­ti­tion, the disap­point­ment after all tho­se hours of hard work is huge.

Our coo­pe­ra­tion has been great from the very begin­ning. Eve­ry­one is enga­ged; we bounce ideas off each other and discuss various options from dif­fe­rent pers­pec­ti­ves. What makes things run smooth­ly is that we have alrea­dy wor­ked on joint pro­jects with some of the part­ners, and it helps a lot that we all know a litt­le about the way the others ope­ra­te. Trust has been built during the pre­vious pro­jects. For example, Kari Rin­ta­mä­ki (from Gran­lund Poh­jan­maa Oy) was invol­ved in the Y‑talo pro­ject in Sei­nä­jo­ki, and I’ve wor­ked with Mark­ku Save­la (from Ram­boll Fin­land Oy) at the Fra­mi research cent­re at Sei­nä­jo­ki Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sciences. Col­la­bo­ra­tion between arc­hi­tects’ offices is based on the idea of wor­king as one, and the coo­pe­ra­tion between Uki and Jääs­ke­läi­nen has got off to a great start.

How have the dif­fe­rent user groups been taken into account in the design?

Timo (Sivu­la, Mana­ging Direc­tor of Kok­ko­la Sports Park) has pro­vi­ded us with a huge amount of infor­ma­tion about the dif­fe­rent user groups’ expec­ta­tions. He’s been busy visi­ting orga­ni­sa­tions such as sports clubs, event agencies, cul­tu­ral bodies and other sta­ke­hol­ders. His notes have given us a good idea of people’s needs and wis­hes. And the­re are lots of them!

It’s impor­tant to col­la­bo­ra­te with the various users to get the arc­hi­tec­tu­ral design right. I’ve wor­ked with end-users on seve­ral pro­jects in envi­ron­ments such as hos­pi­tals. We use the so-cal­led CAVE sys­tem (ed. note: VALO™ vir­tual design met­hod), which allows us to pro­ject model spaces on a wall. End-users enter a space wea­ring 3D glas­ses, and they can alrea­dy assess its func­tio­na­li­ty at the design sta­ge: what the space real­ly looks like and what kind of func­tio­na­li­ties it offers.

When we design hos­pi­tal envi­ron­ments, we invi­te doc­tors, nur­ses, clea­ners and admi­ni­stra­ti­ve staff to the site. They get to explo­re the space and can offer us inva­luable feed­back. We’ve found this to work very well. For example, we had given the recep­tion area a lot of thought in one of our pro­jects and taken into account all the feed­back and wis­hes from the staff. Our design met all their requi­re­ments. But during the vir­tual tour, the recep­tio­nist said imme­dia­te­ly that it wouldn’t work. This promp­ted us to discuss the problems and the requi­red chan­ges to the design.

Final­ly, what do you do in your free time to relax?

I enjoy lis­te­ning to music and going to gigs.

Luitko jo nämä?