Typologies for living

INARO’s housing team has designed homes all over Finland. We give particular attention to the functionality of plan layouts, to the introduction of natural light into our interiors, and to careful consideration of external views and vistas from inside the building. Our aim is always to design for current modern living, also with an eye for future patterns of habitation.

Versatile and flexible housing design enhances sustainable living.

New combinations of building types

Sociological issues such as segregation prevention can be addressed through good housing design. Combining different building types within the same block and providing a variety of apartment types within the same building addresses the demands of different living patterns and helps bring a diverse range of residential groups together. It often also results in blocks which are more diverse and interesting from a town-planning perspective.

Synergy by unification

Combining housing typologies opens up new alternatives for residential design. By example, the stairwell of a high-rise block may be also used to service alternate levels in the lower part of the building. These may contain loft apartments intended for young adults, to which tall fenestration patterns bring light and character to both levels.

Multiple-use enhances living flexibility

When an apartment may be adapted to a range of requirements without the need for structural alterations, this will increase the active life of the whole building. Adaptability may be enhanced by the ‘neutral’ dimensioning of rooms to accommodate a variety of furnishing layouts, sufficient room height for functional flexibility, and fenestration organization which enables unrestricted furnishing layouts.

Extending the life cycle of a building with flexible design

An apartment with in-built flexibility is adaptable to the spatial needs of its occupants throughout different stages and developments of family life. All areas of the apartment with the exception of the bathrooms are flexible and this offers a variety of spatial solutions. Flexibility is enabled by technical solutions such as underfloor heating, and technical installations are designed with a spatial adaptability in mind.

Building massing for changeable views

By playing with the shape and massing of a building we can open up a variety of different views from apartments. An efficient stairwell solution and plan footprint which has kinks and protrusions, we can provide open-ended units and well-lit corner apartments. This type of massing also anchors the building into its setting and reinforces a dialogue with the surroundings.

Homes improved by participation

Based on a series of workshops and interviews carried out during our ‘Urban families with children’ project, it became apparent that one of the most important factors for families is views between interior spaces. This can be achieved by a plan solution in which the home is centred around a central hub of living spaces. Added functionality is provided by a porch space with access to a utility store, a spacious balcony, and an alcove with a variety of uses. Bedrooms have been designed with a neutral dimensioning so that their use is not restricted to any particular age-group.

An abundance of natural light

Natural light is one of the main factors which improves quality of living. As well as the imporance of size and location of windows, the location of a balcony is significant. A balcony with sliding glazed doors opening from a dining area or living room will increase sense of space and bring more natural light to the centre of a deep-plan apartment.

Innovative multistorey habitation

Typical two storey row houses are narrow, with spaces usually divided according to function on separate floor levels. Two-storey row houses may also be designed with spaces overlapping on alternating floor levels. At the ground floor level of a multistorey building, units may be made up of a wide main level accommodating all the principal spaces – kitchen, living room and bedrooms – and a narrower auxiliary level. This solution enables families to spend more quality time together, increasing interaction with the children at play.

Light and space in a loft apartment

The circulation space in a small apartment usually takes up a disproportionate amount of usable floor space. By relocating the stair to the entrance hall, it is possible to free up the living room from unnecessary circulation space, creating an opulent high-ceilinged entrance space with natural light filtering into the rear of the apartment.