Lippulaiva Shopping Mall: interview with the ARCO – Architecture Company design firm

Ego by Provenza and Grainstone by Ergon were the collections chosen for the Lippulaiva Shopping Mall in Finland. The project was a collaboration between two architecture firms, Franz Design and ARCO – Architecture Company, which succeeded in combining several collections from the Emilgroup range in an original and creative way.
The project won in the Creativity category at the Emilgroup Project Awards 2023. On this occasion, we interviewed the architects from the ARCO – Architecture Company.

How does it feel to have been awarded from among hundreds of architecture and interior design projects?

It is a great honour to receive this award as the winner of the “Creativity” category for designing the Lippulaiva floors. Lippulaiva is an urban centre that includes a metro, a bus terminal and a kindergarten. There are also a large number of flats and shops, all with a gross floor area of approximately 150,000 sqm.

What made you choose our collections for your project?

Since the space comprises a whole series of long corridors, our idea was to create smaller spaces around the various openings. In a way, you could say that the layout of the spaces was designed to encourage customers to spend more time in the Lippulaiva centre.
We selected two different Emilgroup tiles that were used in the shopping centre’s corridors. The highly prized Ego by Provenza collection was used in three of its different shades. Each floor, therefore, has its own tile shade. This is complemented by tiles from the Grainstone by Ergon collection that run along the sides of the corridors.
The tile layout was designed by our ARCO team. The goal was to avoid long, straight lines in order to give people a sense of calm, allowing them to relax.
We started by using four different sizes from the Ego collection, but in the end, after discussions with the supplier, we decided to proceed by using two sizes, and four different layouts of the chosen sizes are repeated in the floors.
The shopping centre has three floors, each with its own shade of tiles, which helps visitors to find their way around. The floor design changes from a darker shade on the lower floor to a lighter shade on the higher floors.

What did you like best about our collections?

Both porcelain stoneware collections that we used in the various corridors of the shopping centre are available in different sizes.
For the Ego by Provenza collection, we opted for the 60x60 cm and 30x60 cm sizes, the best sizes for arranging the tiles in the layout we designed. For the Grainstone collection, however, we decided to proceed with the 60x120 cm size.
The shades and types of tiles were carefully selected to match the general interior design concept of the shopping centre corridors. Our idea was to introduce authentic and slightly more robust materials into the various spaces, such as the concrete covering for the lift shafts, which was cast in place. Additionally, there are metal and brick surfaces that were also installed in situ. With these elements in mind, the use and choice of Emilgroup tiles seemed the natural choice.
It is the ideal place for the Emilgroup collections, especially in terms of their appearance. They have a sufficiently rough surface, featuring patterns and subtle tonal variations. This allowed us to adopt a solution whereby different shades were used for different floors. And the shades used are brighter the higher you go, towards the light!
The choice of ceramic tile was the best solution due to its material since it is easy to clean and easy to maintain. It is also very tough.

How do you see the use of ceramics in future interior design?

There are many advantages to choosing these tiles. First of all, the product range is very wide, which means that there is ample availability with many different sizes.
Moreover, porcelain stoneware tiles are made of durable materials. The tile’s durability reduces the need for frequent replacement, making it a long-lasting option so stoneware tiles become the most environmentally friendly and sustainable choice
The versatility of stoneware tiles allows them to be used indoors, outdoors and on facades. This is a major advantage.
Another big advantage is that the modern technology used in tile manufacturing enables the production of larger tiles. This is particularly useful in large commercial spaces, such as Lippulaiva, where there are long, straight tiled surfaces.
We would like to highlight the versatility of Emilgroup porcelain stoneware tiles. It is certainly a great advantage to be able to mix them to create very different atmospheres and moods. Depending, of course, on the design and the project.

Discover the project


29 February 2024


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