Housing in Laajasalo

Type: invited competition
Client: As. Oy. Helsinki Aida
Status: settled
Year: 2019
Location: Laajasalo, Helsinki, Finland
Size: 4 200 m²
Team: Sami Heikkinen (partner in charge), Emilia Ellilä (project architect), Antti Haataja (project architect), Anna-Kaisa Aalto, Vesa Humalisto, Antti Lehto, Anni-Mari Anttola, Valtteri Hautsalo, Otto Heinonen, Timo Paananen

The height of buildings has been adjusted to reflect the terrain of their rocky substrate, creating three different versions of the same archetype.


The competition site is in Laajasalo, adjacent to the new residential area of Kruunuvuorenranta.

Subtle union

The building masses are scattered on the site to create voids from which the rocky outcrops engage with the streetscape, and through which views from existing buildings are preserved.

The pointed extremities of each triangular block establish delicate contact with the rocky base. The basic form is efficient and compact as the external envelope is minimized.

Boulders in the forest

Balconies and living areas are open on all sides to provide good views, while providing exceptionally functional and unique residential units.

Flats on the upper floors are unique loft-type dwellings by virtue of the sloping roofs which create a versatility in room heights.

Uninterrupted rocky landscape

Planting in the upper courtyards is inspired by the natural rocky terrain: dwarf shrub, conifers and other evergreens make for a pleasant and low-maintenance environment all year round.

Distinctive apartments within urban villas create the feel of a low-rise development.