VALO Hotel & Work

What is it like to create a unique service and space concept?


Year: 2020
Location: Helsinki

What project doesn’t talk about sustainable development these days? Very few projects offer such an in-depth and impressive perspective on the matter as the VALO Hotel & Works project, which has boldly tackled perhaps the most significant sustainability factor there is in property; its rate of use. As we well know, the majority of office buildings sit empty in the evenings, at night, and at weekends. Hotels, however, lack people during the daytime. VALO Hotel & Work began to investigate new service opportunities from combining the two, prioritising a first-class customer experience in accommodation and work alike.

When designing new space concepts, it isn’t possible to follow familiar processes, and we must boldly dare to go back to the drawing board and incorporate as many different kinds of design expertise as possible in the project. The more different the approaches, the more certain we can be of the quality of the overall project and ensure that the concept will be implemented in the best possible way. Community, eco-friendliness and fantastic customer service were systematically presented in design.

“Together with our partners, we’ve succeeded in incorporating the best ideas from both the hotel and workplace side of things into design. Experience with designing complex entities was of great use in this project, where individual designers had to be able to perceive the overall entity, from the customer experience and concept all the way to the tiniest detail on the drawings,” says Minna Hurme, who is responsible for design at VALO Hotel & Work and led the design project.

VALO Hotel & Work is a vast entity, whether you look at it as a 422-room hotel or a 422-office workplace, not forgetting the shared spaces that serve both functions, from the wellness department to restaurants and various project and conference rooms with lounges. There certainly are plenty of customer profiles, and therefore also different customer needs. Design kept the bar high throughout, and there was no desire to settle for a solution that would somewhat work for everyone; instead, this project sought top quality for every customer perspective.

“Seamless collaboration right from the start was the key to success. Functionality was highlighted throughout, but we didn’t want to compromise on eco-friendliness, sustainability, maintenance, or visual strength and interest. We needed curiosity and the courage to challenge tradition to find the new kinds of solutions required for the implementation of this unique concept,” says Kreetta Airila, who headed the Workspace design team.

Who among us hasn’t googled where to find hotel-level sheets or a bed for your home? Far fewer of us have dared to think about taking that on as a full-time job in a hotel environment with 24/7 hotel services. VALO Hotel & Work will open in early autumn 2020. Come and experience a great work day offered by this unique concept!

SSA Group builds, sells and operates spaces offering some of the most desirable user experiences. Operations focus on harnessing the possibilities offered by digitalisation, people’s free movement, sustainability, and eco-friendliness. The company’s concepts are VALO Hotel & Work and Spot Apartments.

Workspace designs work and spaces. Through spatial design, we influence social interaction, and improved interaction means that our customer organisation’s impact increases. Our network-like work encompasses around one hundred projects each year. In collaboration with Valo Hotel & Work, Workspace acted as a design partner on the work areas, pool facilities and the light well.

Photographs: Studio Martti Järvi