You don’t come to the office just to work but also to meet others and have fun. Genesta has created a homely concept in Ruoholahti. The office building on Porkkalankatu, which has a long history, has been given a new name and a new look. Roihu amazes and delights by offering its tenants an exceptional work environment with stunning facilities.
Many know it as the Kemira house
A bold brick-clad building stands proudly on Porkkalankatu. It is easily overlooked, as its façade does not yet show the property’s new name, Roihu. The building has a long and glorious history.
However, the large chemical industry tenant moved out, and the space, which extends through all of the eight office floors of this Ruoholahti landmark, was vacated for new users.
Genesta, a real estate investment company, bought the property for its value add fund in 2018, demolished the interior spaces and launched a development plan.
The house already had a story, and now it needed a name. As the original architecture of the property's façade was not to be tampered with, the change had to come from within. That's how Roihu was born.
Little by little, the first tenants found their way to the renovated premises. It was visible on a September morning as employees started to arrive on the scene. One arrived by bike, the other on foot, third by car. The commute to Roihu can be conveniently done by almost any means of transport: the bus stops and the metro station are a stone's throw away, as is the lively Länsiväylä.
So far, the yard of the property has two horse chestnut trees and a patch of turned over land. This look will change as the plant designer and the gardener get to action. In the summer of 2022, it will be ready both outdoors and indoors.
Genesta Finland promises “homes for all companies” and in Roihu, the value proposition turns into concrete solutions and future prospects. Many tenant candidates who have toured Roihu have wondered if such a place can even exist.
But it surely exists, states Anna Pihlajaniemi, Investment Manager responsible for Roihu's development project, and Marja Liisa Suutarinen, Head of Investment Management. This duo will take us on a tour of the property, which is currently hatching a completely new kind of work place.
Well-being as a competitive advantage
In the lobby, the granite floor shines under a fine layer of dust. Builders in work overalls perform their duties. A large restaurant area will be opened on the ground floor later this autumn, to serve all those working in Ruoholahti, not just in Roihu.
In the premises rented by Compass Group, bold wallpapers create a homely atmosphere. And this is the key word for the whole building: homely.
- Roihu is a great place for work. We have a well-being concept that our tenants can utilize when recruiting top employees, Pihlajaniemi says.
An employer cannot always compete with salary, and the pay check is not the most important criterion for all employees when choosing a job. Companies can also attract skilled people with an exceptional work environment. Pihlajaniemi wondered what were the factors that would make a workplace enjoyable.
- There should at least be food, a restaurant, sports facilities and social spaces, she lists.
In addition to these, of course, well-functioning office space. The spaces are created by Genesta once a suitable tenant has been found, and the tenant has told her wishes and needs. There are still interesting vacancies in Roihu.
Pihlajaniemi and Suutarinen present the courtyard. There, we are shown to a space that is nearing completion for a new tenant.
-The courtyard is the perfect place for lunch dates. There is a garden and a grill, and it is shady in the summer, Pihlajaniemi describes.
The idea of a homely premises shows itself again in the courtyard. You can pop out for fresh air and in general, there are numerous opportunities and activities to relax. You don't have to leave Ruoholahti even for a company celebration.
Make it your own
In the still vacant upper floor, a spacious and rounded area opens up. It is easy to imagine how comfortable this will be.
The building technology is the latest throughout the house and as soon as the renovation is completed, Genesta will apply for a BREEAM in Use -certificate for the property built in 1986 and be the first in Finland to receive a Fitwell certificate.
Pihlajaniemi does not want to complete the premises until the right tenant has been found; office space is always tailored to suit the needs of the new user. The task is not easy due to the latest changes in our working habits. Namely, many users do not know what the relationship between office and remote days will be and how this will affect the need for space.
-We are structuring the needed spaces together with design offices. For example, Franz Design builds a preliminary space through a game that they have developed for the clients. In this game the possible future tenant can build their own office using physical elements. With the help of the game, the tenant's space requirements can be optimized, Pihlajaniemi states.
Your own office can be compact, but it can expand into the common areas of the building. In Roihu, they are mainly located on the ground floor. At this point, it becomes clear that Roihu is a house that provides a home for every business and takes care of people’s well-being.
Morning swim, evening karaoke
The well-being facilities at Roihu leave you speechless. The concept was created by the interior design firm dSign Vertti Kivi & Co. A gorgeous swimming pool opens up from the entrance, with a peaceful lake view at the end. What’s more relaxing than starting or ending a day with swimming. And that’s not all, as the space also features a hot tub and a massage room to complete the palette.
The adjoining club room has multiple purposes. There is a pool table, dart board, movie screen, karaoke equipment and board games.
- I thought that if I were looking for a home for my business, what would I want from a new work environment. And the club room was planned with this idea in mind, Pihlajaniemi says, adding that the facilities can be reserved through the reservation system.
Genesta's business idea requires ownership. According to this, each property has an owner who is responsible for the development of the property. Roihu is from Pihlajaniemi, while Väinö in Hakaniemi belongs to Suutarinen. Genesta is constantly looking for new investments for its value add and core plus funds.
- In the hands of Genesta, the traditional technical real estate business becomes human interaction, Suutarinen emphasizes.
Pihlajaniemi's commitment to Roihu is evident during our long tour.
- I know what’s behind every single door in this house, the Investment Manager says, and laughs.
- We commit to our properties fully and seek the best results for the user, Suutarinen adds.
Before we return to the upper floors, we pop into the gym. It is not a gloomy man cave, but a multifunctional space that inspires fitness. Equipment choices are made with safety in mind. And that's not all. The sports hall next door is big enough for even a game of basketball or volleyball.
Made for meetings
Pihlajaniemi and Suutarinen reflect on the future of work in the club room. The pandemic indicated our need for physical presence; people come to the office to meet one another.
- Energy and assistance are sought from the office, says Pihlajaniemi.
- Yes, people were created to do things together, Suutarinen continues.
There is hardly a return to the old office world. Contrary to previous beliefs, many industries encourage hybrid work. Genesta is intrigued by this change. The company surveys tenants' feelings through, among other things, tenant satisfaction surveys. Genesta has been doing this for ten years.
In Ruoholahti, Genesta wants to develop services for the entire region, not just Roihu's tenants. We are urban developers, Pihlajaniemi says with a sparkle in her eye.