Atrain Housing Block, Helsinki

This visually unified residential block is divided into five sites and three housing companies. One of which is Hitas owner-occupied housing, the second is right-of-occupancy housing, and the third is Ara rental housing.

The Atrain block is located in Verkkosaari, north of the Kalasatama centre, along a green street with retail and restaurant spaces. The colourful balconies of the lower apartments highlight the street-level arcade.

The facades on the street side are light-toned brickwork in accordance with the masterplan. Also, according to the plan, the courtyard facades had to be built uniformly and be constructed of floor high panels. This requirement has been met by using solid-coloured concrete sandwich panels, the surface of which has two different textures, forming vertical, level-high stripes. The element appearance was faded by placing the horizontal joins of the panels on the upper edge of the window frames and vertical joins on the edges of the textured fields. The varnish colours vary depending on the building type. The back of the balconies are clad in timber.

During the budgeting rounds in Contract Administration the size of the underground carpark was reduced, e.g. by swapping reserved spots for shared-use carparks. This solution resulted in the block having space for earth-bound courtyard planting with large trees that is exceptional for the Kalasatama area.

The masterplan forbade the placement of escape routes in the courtyard, which had an effect on the orientation of the floorplans. All apartments and balconies are along the streets. The demanding shapes set by the formula have enabled exceptionally varied views and space solutions.

Residents’ common spaces are mainly on the top floors, some are also in lower-level joints.


Year: 2022
Location: Kalasatama, Helsinki, Finland
Photos: Martin Sommerschield/ Kuvio
Team: Kirsti Sivén, Asko Takala, Kaisa Savolainen, Milja Nykänen, Kristiina Timonen, Aino Born, Hanna Vikberg, Saku Kuittinen, Tuula Nurmi, Eero Alho, Eero Holopainen, Erik Huhtamies, Saara Sillanmikko, Ilmo Kapanen, Emmy Hedin

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