Mount Kelvin
VALO Hotel & Work – lighting for hospitality perfectionists
Minna Hurme, Andreas Lindqvist & Teemu Saari in VALO enclosed courtyard.
VALO Hotel & Work – lighting for hospitality perfectionists
Published by Petteri Saarinen on 19 Jan 2021
VALO Hotel & Work's new and original service and space concept serves multiple uses at different times of the day: at night it functions as a hotel, during the day it becomes a dynamic modern work environment. We stepped in to help create VALO’s lighting solutions all the way from the rooftop wellness area to the underground garage.

Virtual rooms are a new way to experience Mount Kelvin with your smartphone. Step inside and discover the four lighting scenes of VALO Comfort in different modes.

VALO (Light in Finnish) consists of 422 rooms, all of which function for both accommodation and work. In addition, the hotel has a restaurant and a lounge bar, as well as one-of-a-kind wellness and sauna area on the 7th-floor rooftop terrace. The unique concept required a forward-facing guest room management system to finish the all-around hospitality experience. Mount Kelvin, Wirepas & Helvar were ready to deliver.

Beyond the traditional smart building

Designing and delivering room controls and a management system for a building that changes its shape every single day is not an easy task. All of the rooms have to provide ideal conditions for both working and unwinding.

“Our main driver is to increase the utilization rate of spaces. With convertible furniture and smart tech, we’re able to transform the rooms in several ways. It makes spatial planning difficult, but at the same time very interesting.” VALO Head of Design Minna Hurme explains.

VALO’s philosophy is to provide a full experience that is catered according to each visitor’s unique needs. For example, this can mean that office users can access the building and spaces without ever seeing a real person – if that’s what they prefer.

“We want to provide a seamless experience for all of our guests. For example, if several people from the same company are working in VALO together, we need to cater all of their needs, whether it’s teamwork or deep focus.” VALO Chief Business Development Officer Teemu Saari continues.

VALO Smart room, work mode

The management wanted to go beyond what has traditionally been considered a smart building. Traditional motion detection was the starting point for controlling the lights and saving energy, but quickly the vision evolved into more comprehensive indoor positioning. The solution now allows the gathering of relevant data from both user groups without having the hotel guests carry similar access tags as the office users.

“Data is another big thing for us. We want to be able to understand in the finest detail how our building is being used and create accurate heatmaps, to be able to further develop the guest experience.” Saari concludes.

A shared goal of the perfect lighting solution

The ultimate solution for luminating the hybrid building in Northern Helsinki was Mount Kelvin guest room management system. The forward-facing ecosystem of 3 partners enabled VALO to achieve the unique guest experience they were looking for:

VALO Hotel & Work guest room management system

Mount Kelvin is currently being used to control practically all the luminaires in the building. This includes the rooms and the public spaces, all the way from the rooftop terrace to the underground parking lot.

“We spend a lot of time finding the most advanced solutions that have been proven to work and fill the requirements of our concept. Mount Kelvin is an innovative and comprehensive solution that’s tailored to hospitality perfectionists like ourselves.” Saari summarizes the main benefits of the chosen technology.

Meeting room Lähteikkö

Versatility in the focus - from the planning table to the rooms

The VALO concept was first tried out at Housing Fair Finland 2018, where over 10 000 people visited the mock-up showroom. The feedback was positive all along the line and the pacemaker project found its home from Ruskeasuo, Helsinki. When the design process kicked off, it was obvious that VALO couldn’t settle for anything less than outstanding.

Hurme explains her lighting design philosophy:

“The lighting needs to be versatile and practical. We didn’t want the light to be coming only from above, but rather from different heights and in different forms. For office use, the light needs to be indirect and for hotel use atmospheric. I think we’ve succeeded very well in this.”

The Mesh technology combined with wireless and battery-free switches made the building process flow effortlessly, and the project was finished on schedule, even though the bar was set very high. According to Teemu Saari, the chosen technology was a key to success.

“We didn’t want to break the walls between rooms, to reach soundproofing of a high standard. That’s why it was important to minimize the need for additional electrical wirings and have early plans that we could commit to. With this set of technology, it was made possible.”

Lighting around the clock

The innovative concept has received a warm welcome from businesses and business travelers. Even during the difficult times of 2020, the digital nomads of Finland have found a new hotspot from the comfort of VALO.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from customers, and a recurring highlight is the enclosed courtyard, which breathes the rhythm of the day. On a sunny day, the natural light illuminates the yard, and in the evening the twilight lighting sets a warm and cozy Central European atmosphere.” Saari tells.

Unfortunately, still in the 2020s most hotel lighting solutions can’t provide a level of simplicity and ease the customers yearn for. And the hoteliers lack the data to make meaningful decisions. But the building that’s even named after light, has got the lighting solution it deserves – for both visitors and operators.

“Just today a guest told me that they love how one simple click can change the whole feeling of the room. Mount Kelvin affects even our social media visibility: by adjusting the pool area lights we saw how people started immediately sharing the place more in their Instagram stories.” Hurme concludes.

VALO Hotel & Work facade

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