Text description provided by the architects. A complex of two apartment houses for social housing in the suburban area of Malmi in Helsinki, Finland. An innovative and sustainable approach was required by the client, the Helsinki Housing Production Bureau to ensure the design quality on the city owned lot. Affordable purchase and maintenance costs, sustainable rental homes with the combination of the limitations of the site were the key fundamentals of the project. Schematic design began in 2007 and construction was completed in September 2010.
The two similar buildings form large curves toward the north blocking noise and tremor from the nearby street and railway. They also make a statement in a larger urban context, the suburban railway environment development.
A concept of the facades makes the two buildings a coherent set as it considers the marked duality of the lot used. The facades to the north stand out as compact and precise surfaces, the wall openings and the rising silhouette give the facades a dynamic character. On the contrary, on the south side, the balconies, facing the courtyard, appear freely in different positions on the façade.
The use of building materials like wood adds warmth to the construction and also contributes to its integration with its surroundings. The spacious glazed balconies create outside rooms and give the inhabitants a chance to prolong and enjoy the short northern summer.
Two five-story buildings that provide 62 flats all facing to the south/west quiet courtyard. The flats are 1-3 bedroom rental units with living room, kitchen, bathroom and sauna. The facilities in the basement include storage rooms, a community club and a laundry.The garage rooftop and part of the carport have been landscaped into the green hillside.