The plan for the “Proosa” (eng. Prose) building block won the Housing Reform 2020 architectural competition held by the City of Helsinki, Ministry of the Environment, Alvar Aalto Foundation and SAFA (the Finnish Architects Association), which sought to reform the practices of housing design, as well as to increase the diversity of housing production and housing options for residents. The competition focused on the challenges of housing in Helsinki and the impact of social changes in future housing solutions. With Proosa, the possibilities of urban timber construction were explored, particularly regarding the timber structured slab blocks in the perimeter block. The goal was an effective and diverse block structure and clearly demarcated street spaces. The project is part of the Re-thinking Urban Housing Programme.
The project includes government-sponsored ARA housing rights apartments for Asuntosäätiö as well as ARA rental apartments for A-Kruunu. The project relies on five residential towers and the light wells left between them. There will be a total of 180 apartments in the block, ranging from studio apartments to five-room apartments and the average area of the apartments being approx. 53 square metres. The building is constructed of timber structured, prefabricated CLT spatial units and the façades are made of wood. The project is constructed by JVR Rakenne Oy.
The use of natural light and greenery is central to the block. The wood-clad residential towers are separated from each other by balconied light wells through which lots of light and interesting views are reflected inside the block. The light wells are bordered by structural green walls, thus fulfilling the land use plan’s objective of a perimeter block. Green walls and the green roofs of the light wells improve the green efficiency of the block, as well as the light and greenery of the inner parts of the block. Apartments open to more directions thanks to the light wells, and each apartment also has a private balcony.
The project emphasizes community and the sense of belonging, taking into account the shared spaces of the common-use building to be constructed on Rullakkotori. In addition to the common use-building, each staircase will be connected to two smaller common spaces and a high-ceilinged shared conservatory. Multi-purpose and accessible facilities connected to the staircases complement the common spaces available to residents.
Like the literary genre of prose, this project too can be considered simple and gesture-free from the outside. Upon closer inspection and looking inside the block, the block offers surprises as well as advanced housing
|Client:||City of Helsinki|
|Size:||14 279 m2|
|Principal designer:||Jyrki Iso-Aho|
|Project architect:||Lassi Mustonen|
|Other team members:||Tiina Päivilä-Kari, Panu Söderström|
In collaboration with A-Konsultit Architects and KUMP Architects.