The Etuniementie housing project is a community of nine single family houses in the Matinkylä district of Espoo, Finland.
Due to its suburban location, we aimed to design the architecture of the Etuniementie housing community in such a way that residents would feel removed from the busy streets around it and instead connected to the nature and prevalent greenery of the site.
This led to the development of a modern village atmosphere that could serve as a green pocket for its residents. For them to feel comfortable and encouraged to spend time outdoors on foot, we centered all the parking to the middle of the plot and focused on enhancing the quality of the pedestrian corridors throughout. These passageways in between the homes were an opportunity we felt could provide not only a unique visual identity to Etuniementie, but also at the same time shape a more human-scale environment for the community. When following the paved passageway from the parking to each house, the series of spaces gradually transition from semi-public to a semi-private before becoming completely private.
To further strengthen this concept, we also ensured that each of the single-family houses had not only a private balcony, but a terrace and small yard as well to be used for gardening or play. This way, residents could feel a stronger, individual connection to nature in their own backyards without compromising on location.
Other architectural details that continue the concept include the half-plaster, half-wooden facades that provide a seamless canvas for the shadows of nearby trees to cast onto and the single-sloped pitched roofs that open the visual horizon and blend into the scenery.
On the ground floor, each of the compact 100m2 houses have their own open kitchen, dining and living room, bedroom/study, and bathroom. Upstairs, there are 3 bedrooms with a second bathroom and sauna.
In reality, this project is surprisingly denser and significantly more urban than its surroundings. However, this is not immediately apparent when in the space itself. This is made possible due to the strategic placement of the buildings throughout the plot, which together emphasize the contrast and divide between the more public paved passageways and the private gardens. The result is a space-efficient housing community without compromising on the main goal of fostering a nature-filled, peaceful, and comfortable home for those who live there.