Located by the seashore in Vaasa, the clean-lined building of Fiskets Hus represents high-quality Finnish wooden architecture, in which light plays a significant role. Despite its name, the building is much more than a fish shop. Airam designed a lighting solution for the building’s outdoor and indoor spaces using the DIALux evo software, and Are acted as the electrical contractor.
Vaasa’s Kalaranta has traditionally been home to local fishing boats. Now the seafront offers a new living room for the area’s residents, Fiskets Hus, where both locals and visitors who arrive by boat can come together to spend time and relax. The spectacular new building, which replaced an old indoor fish market, houses Restaurant HEJM, a bar, meeting and sauna facilities, the fish shop Fiskdisken and a delicatessen, as well as office and exhibition premises for the Ostrobothnian Fisheries Association. The restaurant and delicatessen offer delicacies made from local ingredients, either to eat in or take away. The selection, which consists of fresh and smoked locally-caught fish and Finnish meat, varies depending on the season.
The driving forces behind the house of fishing concept were the Ostrobothnian Fisheries Association, the fish restaurant and the fish shop and delicatessen that operate alongside it. The proposal by architect Ann-Charlott Hästö, producer Johanna Stenbacka and chef Michael Björklund won the design competition that was held to find a new plan for the area of Kalaranta in Vaasa. The plans were completed in 2017, and the construction work was finished in autumn 2019.
It is not a coincidence that the illuminated reflection of the building’s façade on the water is reminiscent of a glimmering fish, while the wood battens on the exterior walls bring to mind fishbones. The building forms an entity with the sea in all seasons. When the sea is not frozen, the outline of the building is reflected on the surface of the water.
The indoor spaces combine modern architecture with the warm, nostalgic atmosphere of traditional indoor markets. In the restaurant’s dining hall and shop area as well as elsewhere in the indoor spaces, the lighting solution highlights the wooden structures, which form an important architectural and design element.
According to the contractor, the battens on the diagonal panelling and the high, vaulted ceiling of this wooden element building complicated the installation of lighting. Special care had to be taken in the installation of cables to ensure that all the technical solutions could be hidden in the structures, giving a polished finish to the space, explains Jukka Pylväinen from Are Oy, adding that the client was extremely happy with the end result.
Address: Fiskdisken, Kalaranta, Sininen tie 1, 65100 Vaasa
Architect: Ann-Charlott Hästön, Ab AK-Plan Oy
Electrical design: Granlund
Electrical installation: Are Oy
Completion date: autumn 2019