Urban village

Type: detail plan, building and landscape design
Client: City of Jyväskylä, KOAS, Soihtu
Status: completed in 2023
Timeline: detail plan 2016–2019, building design 2019–2023
Location: Mäki-Matti, Jyväskylä
Scope of project: 12 000 m² housing, 1100 m² communal spaces
Team: Sami Heikkinen (partner in charge), Emilia Ellilä (project architect, detail plan and preliminary design), Nikolas Davies (project architect, building design and construction), Anna-Kaisa Aalto (landscape architect in charge), Tuomas Voutilainen, Valtteri Hautsalo, Anni-Mari Anttola, Lassi Luotonen, Hanna Mattila, Miia Suomela, Aleksandra Borzecka, Arianna Scotoni, Daniel Reini, Viktoria Mazaeva, Timo Paananen, Otto Heinonen, Maiju Lehtimäki
Communal space interior design: Franz Design Oy
Photography: Marc Goodwin

The large building mass has been broken down into small narrow blocks, showing a different face to each direction of approach.


The city of Jyväskylä is located in central Finland, lying about 270 km north of Helsinki. The student housing block is close to the city centre, next to the university campus.

Urban and unified

This compact urban block galvanizes its incoherent surroundings. By arranging the small repeated apartment units into moderately sized blocks, the whole complex has been enlivened by each block having its own distinct masonry, fenestration and balconies.

Elevational variety

The combination of shades of brick masonry, mortar jointing methods, and different balcony and fenestration types create a subtle differentiation to enrich the building elevations.

Corners creating places

The layout of the building masses allows for small urban spaces and external highlights, with architectural verticality suggested by narrow gaps between the blocks.

Skewed massing and the articulation of end elevations display a different aspect in each direction.

Greenery inside and out

The functional, sunny inner garden unites students in communal recreation. Yellow is the theme colour, aligned with surface materials to reflect the linear geometries of the building.

Focusing on communal spirit

The driving factor behind the design of the block has been student life, and the desire to promote a sense of community within the buildings. There are plenty of communal spaces and spots to encourage encounters.

Versatile student housing

Korttelikylä is a relatively large residential complex comprising one-room and two-room flats. Despite the efficiency in size of each apartment, the flats receive plenty of natural light. A diversity in apartment-types is created by virtue of first and upper floor flats having their own mezzanine loft spaces, widely varying fenestration patterns, and a range of different balcony types.

Variety and a pleasing scale embody a sense of community and a unique townscape.