Wavepier is an Honorable Mention winning entry for the Hernesaari Urban Furniture Competition.
Framed by shipyards and coastline, Hernesaari is an extension of the city into the sea, an interstitial zone where land meets water. From a site that was once sea, an artificial peninsula emerges, built by man as a port to facilitate the shipping needs of a growing Helsinki.
No longer a bustling industrial port, Hernesaari today becomes a hotbed for new development in the industries of leisure, tourism, and design.On this former seascape, a new furniture emerges from the waves, providing a seamless transition between ships and city, water and land. A grid of square timbers, resembling the piles of a pier, form an undulating wavelike surface.The surface’s crests and troughs provide a variety of seating alcoves, spaces for sitting, lying, lounging, climbing, and viewing. Together, the five waves form a linear bar, a continuous path that will lead visitors from their ships into Helsinki and from the city back out to sea.
The grid of piles consists of square timbers measuring 6 cm by 6cm spaced 1.5cm apart, allowing light to penetrate and soak into the seating. The seemingly disjunct members are bolted together with an interior metal structure of tension rods which allows segments of the furniture to cantilever off the ground as the wave crests, creating the illusion of piles floating in midair.The sides of the piles are painted a variety of bright colors, creating a dazzling range of colored light which appears to emerge from within the furniture, an effect that is augmented at night with a system of lights embedded within the grid. The pier is made of local pine timber, which will mature over its 10 year lifespan from a clean blonde patina to a weathered grey driftwood, transforming with age as it slowly adjusts to its site.
On the Hernesaari waterfront, visitors lounge on the waves.
Hernesaari Urban Furniture Competition
Wastelands: XXXII European Architecture Students Assembly and the City Planning Department of the City of Helsinki
Collaborator: Katie MacDonald