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Carlo Ratti Associati’s winning design for the Helsinki Energy Challenge offers innovative solutions towards a sustainable and dynamic public life.

A trans-disciplinary team, coordinated by Carlo Ratti Associati developed the winning proposal for the Helsinki Energy Challenge. Titled Hot Heart, the project consists of a set of 10 cylindrical basins, each measuring 225 meters in diameter. The transparent domes collectively can hold up to 10 million cubic meters of water. The system functions like a giant thermal battery: low- or negative-cost renewable energy is converted into heat, stored in the tanks, and withdrawn into the city’s heat distribution channels during the winter. 

Hot Heart was developed as part of the Helsinki Energy Challenge organized by the municipality of Helsinki to accelerate the city’s transition towards carbon-neutrality in heating by 2030. In addition to its thermal storage properties, Hot Heart doubles as an accessible recreational venue. Four of the 10 hot water reservoirs are “Floating Forests” – tropical ecosystems from the world’s key rainforest zones naturally heated by the basins underneath. They provide visitors with a place to socialize and enjoy the sunlight, even in the harsh Nordic winter, thanks to the use of powerful sun-like LED technology.

Images: © Carlo Ratti Associati