Kaarlenkatu housing

Background: direct commission
Type: building design
Client: Rakennusliike Lapti Oy
Status: completed 2023
Timeline: 2020–2022
Location: Kallio, Helsinki, Finland
Scope of project: 2,850 m² housing, 150 m² commercial
Team: Antti Lehto (principal designer), Emilia Ellilä (leading architect), Daniel Reini, Antti Haataja, Timo Paananen
Photography: Martin Sommerschield / Kuvio Oy, Daniel Reini

The architecture draws on the dignity and warmth of the old residential buildings of Kallio district in Helsinki, Finland.

Urban coherence

The building complements the existing architecture of the 20th stone-built residential buildings, which are characteristic for the city district.

The monolithic, lightly sanded pre-cast concrete used on the ground floor is a contemporary take on the distinctive natural stone walls that characterise this area.

The facade detailing serves as a fire break in line with local building regulations, allowing for the addition of larger, openable windows.

Design for light and spaciousness

The balconies are carefully dimensioned to be be furnished in various ways. While the glazing creates interior-like spaces, which are protected from rain and snow, the extruding part allows residents’ to have plants and smaller items at outdoors. The top floors contain two-storey attic apartments.

The living room and kitchen area are free of bearing structures and may be opened into outdoor space through sliding glass walls.

Top floor common space

Conservatory and balcony complement the sauna department.

Kaarlenkatu infill housing brings a hint of freshness to an existing urban setting, without stealing the show.