The area plan, cottage typology and public building in the Suutarila allotment area

Spring 2014

2000 sqm

Helsinki City Planning Department

Studio Puisto Architects: Mikko Jakonen, Emma Johansson, Sampsa Palva, Heikki Riitahuhta, Willem van Bolderen

area planning, schematic design, hospitality, wooden construction

The commission was to update the area plan of an allotment garden area to be founded in Suutarila in Helsinki. We also designed a typology for the 20 sqm cottage units, the construction guidelines for the cottages and also did the schematic design for the public building of the area. The area will house about 90 allotment cottages. The simple wooden ridge roof cottages are divided into two masses with spaces clearly organized according to their function. The main mass houses the spaces and functions for sleeping, living and cooking, whereas the smaller mass has a dry toilet and a storage space.

The size of an individual allotment parcel is 200 sqm and there are three different options of placement for the cottage on the parcel. All of the options have the main mass on the north corner of the parcel, but the smaller mass may be placed either in direct connection to the main mass, on the opposite side of the parcel or on the road side. Variation of these three placement options creates and interesting and varying character to the area.

The main mass has a glass sliding door facade that opens straight towards the parcel. The other sides of the building are blind. Clear openings pointing to one direction form a seamless contact between the outdoors and the indoors and makes the house easy to furnish. The facades of the cottages are made of a vertical wooden planks treated with a transparent grey finish, the wooden parts of the windows and doors have been treated in the same way. The roof is a traditional felt roof. The terraces are made of untreated larch. The colour palette is rather grey, but some colour may be added in the form of sliding lattices that can be realized either in red, yellow or white. The lattices act as protection from the sun and other weather conditions. The cottage can also be closed down for the winter or other periods in which the cottage is not used. The cottages are light in colour on the inside; the ceilings and walls are covered with light-coloured birch plywood, whereas the floor is made of spruce boards bleached with lye.

The material and formal solutions of the public building of the area are inspired by those of the cottages. The building is mainly used by the inhabitants of the cottages, but there is also a café serving people using the closeby recreational routes. The public building is an atrium house on one floor, with one wing dedicated to the sauna, washrooms and maintenance. The rest of the space is continuous and functions as a meeting space or café if need be. There is a space for an open fire in the middle of the atrium, looking towards the evening sun. There is also an allocated space for a summer kitchen outside.


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