Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo in Helsinki was a large housing project for women implemented in post-war Finland. The project was carried out by Suomen Naisten Huoltosäätiö Association which continued the work of Lotta Svärd Association (disbanded in 1944 as a part of the Moscow Armistice). The building was designed by architects Eija and Olli Saijonmaa based on the winning entry in an architecture competition arranged by Suomen Naisten Huoltosäätiö in 1946. The Saijonmaas were assisted by architect Lasse Heinänen. The first phase of the development was completed in 1951 and the second in 1953.

The housing project was planned for the female war veterans, known as ‘Lottas’. Most of the apartments are studios, in all the complex had originally 279 flats. Main entrance to the apartment wing is from the Lehtikuusentie street. A collective kitchen and a laundry room were a focal part of the plan as the principal idea of the co-housing’s arrangements was to release women from the daily domestic work. Even a daycare centre, swimming pool and a restaurant were part of the complex. The restaurant ‘White Lady’ (referring to the Lotta Svärd Association’s political background) was the first restaurant in Finland that was seen suitable for women to enter without male companion. The project gained broad interest and the women architect’s association Architecta was one of the groups that visited the complex after the first phase was completed in 1951.

Source: Finnish Architectural Review 5/1954

 

 

Location

Mannerheimintie 93, Helsinki
60.1952179, 24.9038747

Images

View from the yard , Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
View from the yard , Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / HKM)
Construction of the complex, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
Construction of the complex, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / HKM)
View from Mannerheimintie, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
View from Mannerheimintie, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / MFA)
View from the yard, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
View from the yard, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / MFA)
Main entrance, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
Main entrance, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / MFA)
Entrance hall, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
Entrance hall, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / MFA)
Breakfast room, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
Breakfast room, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / MFA)
Restaurant 'White Lady', Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
Restaurant 'White Lady', Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© Heikki Havas / MFA)
Site plan and floor plan of the ground floor, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
Site plan and floor plan of the ground floor, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© MFA)
Studio flat, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo
Studio flat, Women’s Co-housing Asuntoyhteistalo (© MFA)