Rising like a landmark on Mannerheimintie street, Helsinki, the apartment building for seniors is one of the recent infill projects that aim to densify the city in the spirit of current objectives.

The yellow brick links the new building to the adjacent Folkhälsan service building, to which it also connects physically via a grey metal bridge. The Danish yellow bricks are fired so as to give them a variegated appearance, enhancing the properties of the material. Special bricks were made that fit the various angles of the folds in the walls.

Most of the senior housing’s sleeping areas could be oriented from the traffic noise and instead towards Helsinki’s Central Park. Many of the extensive views from the apartments overlook the adjacent streets, and the experience close to the floor. In this way, a resident who spends their time at home or is perhaps even bedridden can follow the life around them a variegated appearance, enhancing the properties of the material. Special bricks were made that fit the various angles of the folds in the walls. The partition walls that provide protection for the balconies were also built in brick.

The plot is bordered on all sides by streets, and Tilkanvierto street, which winds as an underpass below Mannerheimintie, creates a significant difference in ground levels, especially on the east and north sides. The architects have used these differences creatively in the implementation of access roads, thus avoiding ramps inside the parking garages, which is just slightly fewer than the usually required amount. There are also differences in ground level on the Mannerheimintie side, which have been utilised for a small front yard, planted with a cherry tree, that also establishes a pleasant unobstructed route tot he main entrance and a café.

Gullkronan Social Housing was designed by Risto Huttunen, Gunilla Björkqvist and Uula Kohonen (Huttunen–Lipasti Architects) and was completed in 2019.

Text: Finnish Architectural Review 3/2019

Location

Mannerheimintie 95, Helsinki
60.19689091, 24.90191877

Images

View from the south, Gullkronan Senior Housing
View from the south, Gullkronan Senior Housing (© Tuomas Uusheimo / MFA)
Elevation, Gullkronan Senior Housing
Elevation, Gullkronan Senior Housing (© Tuomas Uusheimo / MFA)
View from a balcony, Gullkronan Senior Housing
View from a balcony, Gullkronan Senior Housing (© Tuomas Uusheimo / MFA)
Apartment, Gullkronan Senior Housing
Apartment, Gullkronan Senior Housing (© Tuomas Uusheimo / MFA)
Apartment, Gullkronan Senior Housing
Apartment, Gullkronan Senior Housing (© Tuomas Uusheimo / MFA)
Apartment, Gullkronan Senior Housing
Apartment, Gullkronan Senior Housing (© Tuomas Uusheimo / MFA)
Site plan and ground floor, Gullkronan Senior Housing
Site plan and ground floor, Gullkronan Senior Housing (© Finnish Architectural Review 3/2019)