Housing Atlas 2006 – Multistorey Housing in Helsinki 

Report for the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division

Project description:

This research was part of a development project on multistorey residential building in Helsinki; blocks of flats representing the traditional, urban style living. In the metropolitan area the variety of ways and styles of living has increased. In future the way blocks of flats are built will need to be able to compete with eg. low-rise dwellings. The development starts with the flat – the basic unit of living. More space will add more flexibility. A larger flat will adapt to changing requirements and therefore be of use to a wider range of residents. 

The traditional larger-scale city flat (Töölöläisasunto–named after the bourgeois living area of Töölö) acts as one of the models with its large rooms and clearly separate spaces for different people and different functions; the other model being the neo-loft, a concept of raw, open space. A flat will need to supply both privacy and communality and be flexible. It could also transform from private to communal and vice versa, if required by different modes of living. 

The model flats vary between three sizes: single household, two residents’ household, and three or more residents’ household. The arrangement of rooms can be either based on plans for privacy or plans for communal living. The age or residents and type of family or other unit of community will reflect on the plans. In this manner the basic flat will lend itself to a variety of needs and floor plans. 

 A residential building is made up of flats, and entrances to various types of residential buildings need to differ depending on eg. the recognisability of modes of living in the building and in the area. Buildings should be developed on their terms: based on the many advantages of multistorey housing in urban context. 

In Practice 

We have carried out these flexible models in our own projects. Töölöläisasunto was realised in rental group homes–a further modification of Töölöläisasunto – built by A-kruunu in Turumankatu and Länsisatamankatu. It was also applied in As Oy Capella, a block of large family homes. 

Neo-loft homes, based on raw space, have been carried out in As Oy Tila in Arabianranta, and in As Oy Harkko in Kruunuvuorenranta. 

Project info:

Published:11 May 2006
Serial number:2006:6 
Editors:  Pia Ilonen, Minna Lukander, Ari Niska
Graphic design and lay-out:Mari Mannevaara