House S is an extension to an existing single family house. It is located in the Karjasilta area in Oulu – a highly appreciated housing area from the 1940s and 50s. The original house is a ”rintamamiestalo”, which is a type house that was developed as a self-build house for soldiers returning from the front during the reconstruction period after WWII.
The old house is dedicated for the family bedrooms, and as part of the extension the attic floor was renovated into a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet.
The extension starts from a point where the original entrance to the house was, replacing it with a new foyer. From here the extension splits into two storeys, a basement with the sauna den and the kitchen-cum-dining room on the entry level.
At the end of the extension the floor level steps down (where the basement ends) finishing with the living room. The extension is characterized by its trapezoidal shape in plan, the result of the wedge shaped plot and the space requirements of the functions. The house received the energy class rating A in 2013. The client was aided during the design process by having access to a full 3D-model of the extension, which helps to understand the design better than traditional drawings would.
The house on Pikisaari island is one half of a two family home in the Kultturisaari group of houses. Like all the houses in the group, it is split on three storeys, but with two mezzanines. As the house abuts the street directly, but has a sheltered courtyard, its orientation is based on taking advantage of the privacy on the courtyard side.
The entrance is located on the first mezzanine level, and connected to the staircase which allows access to all of the rest of the house. A kitchen-cum-livingroom on the first floor, a second mezzanine with a small study space and the bedrooms on the second floor. The basement has a den, sauna and a mudroom with its own outdoor access from a sunken terrace level.
The interiors are based on something of a traditional wooden house style in an all-white color palette, with accessories providing colour. The house received the energy class A in 2012, also known as a low energy house.
Summer of 2014 saw the completion of a group of private homes by Archeus in a very special location, on Pikisaari island next to the center of Oulu. The island was an important site of industry for hundreds of years, with ship yards, saw mills and a pitch manufactory among many other industries. By the 1960s the industries had moved away and the island has since been developed for housing and cultural operations, such as artists' studios and an artesan school.
The site is actually the location of the old pitch manufactory, which infact has given the name to the island - "Piki" meaning pitch. As the island is mostly comprised of rather pictoresque houses built around the beginning of the 20th century, and the island is also valued as an important part of the outdoor recreation paths in Oulu, any new development here is a very sensitive subject. Because of this, a very strict town plan was first developed from a winning entry in the Europan 6 architecture competition.
To support and foster the cultural aspect of the island, the city of Oulu also decided to make the application for the building plots subject to special conditions - the applicants were asked to provide cultural events or services in the area. Because of this, many of the owners are people active in different cultural fields.
As interest for the area was very high, the applicants were asked to form groups, and the Kulttuurisaari group is composed of six families, two per house. Each family has the house on three levels, often with a basement that also has a separate exit, and in some cases extra space arranged on mezzanines.
It’s been one of the largest individual projects for Archeus, and certainly one of the longest, having started way back in the early noughties. But now the first two buildings of Tervahovi Silos are being completed. The old grain silos were converted into apartments, 157 in all, of a large variety of types.
Some of the original aims have of course been changed or taken away entirely during the process, but overall the buildings represent much of what we set out to do. Chief among the changes has to be the fact that most of the old structure was actually replaced with entirely new construction – but what the result may lack in terms of preservation, it maybe can be seen to stand its own in originality.
Outwardly, as much as possible of the original silo aesthetic was recreated – as stipulated by the town plan. Some features were even recreated, such as the torn down main facade of the 1920s Old Silo, with the aim to create a necessary hierarchy in view of the changed circumstances around the complex. Similarly, to retain the round silo image, a lot of thought went into the balcony railings in the Silo - they exactly follow the curve of the silo cylinder, with thin but deep slats that enable views out, but provide a level of privacy towards neighbourings flats.
The new apartments in the larger Silo wing are accessed through a corridor on the mainland side, and the apartments have full height glazed walls toward the views south and west. Most have large glazed balconies in front of the windows, further enlarging the useable space in the apartments. The apartments on the 1st and 2nd floor also have a partial loft storey within them and apartments on floor 7 and up have a higher room height than usual.
In the effort to retain much of the original industrial atmosphere, the indoor spaces have the structural concrete exposed and otherwise a very muted choice of materials, with select highlights in the lighting fixture and door/windows fitting materials.
The Old Silos is a very different building, 2/3 of the flats are small studios along a central corridor, while the last 1/3 take advantage of the narrow building shape, and have aspects open to two sides of the long, tall building. The ground floor flats have private entrances from the courtyard, and a loft floor, same as the flats in the 7th and 8th floors. The penthouse flats actually have three levels and large open and glazed roof terraces on both sides of the building.
Somewhat different in terms of shape from the Silo, the apartments in the Old Silo also have windows starting from floor level, and visible structural concrete is also the dominating material. The Old Silo received an energy class rating of A and the Silo class B (requirement level is class D) in 2012.
The Archeus team held this years summer outing on the Kesän Sauna raft in Oulu river by the Tuira beach. The raft is a volunteer effort led by Architects SAFA of Northern Finland and Oulun Rantasaunaseura ry. Archeus' employee Pekka Tuominen is active in both organizations, and Archeus is one of the sponsors for the sauna.
The team enjoyed the wood heated sauna and everyone took several dips in the somewhat chilly 17 degree river. Linen bathrobes lent to us by Hotel Lasaretti helped keep us warm while relaxing on the deck.
House K is featured in the April issue of the Avotakka magazine.
The family wanted to move closer to the city center and was looking at an existing house designed by Archeus.
Pave suggested that the family would look for a plot where they could build a house designed just for them and their needs instead.
The end result is a 300m² house with a beautiful sea view. The main living spaces are placed in the second floor to maximize the amazing views.
The interior feels warm and inviting thanks to all the wooden surfaces. Acoustic panels were placed behind the wood grating ensuring pleasant acoustics for the whole living area.
See more pictures of the building and interior at the project page.