The project of two wooden apartment buildings was completed at Hyljetie 3 in Espoo. The two 5-story buildings have a total of 72 apartments.
Read the article in Finnish here.
The complex consists of two five-storey apartment buildings and their outdoor storage units. Constructed from wooden volumetric elements around central stairwells, the masses and shapes of the residential buildings are defined by the limits of the prefabricated materials and the municipal zoning plan. Horizontal wooden panels are used for most of the façade. The slatted roof and the individual choices in colouring and mass shape help the buildings blend into their surroundings.
The recessed, glazed balconies are actually part of the volumetric elements, forming a technically unified façade that also makes the apartment floor plans more practical. Each building has a main façade colour that is unique to that building but conforms with the municipal scheme for the entire complex.
In terms of construction, most larger apartments combine two volumetric element modules, whereas the smaller ones each have their own. To give the apartments as much natural light as possible, the module layout maximises the size of the window walls and their window openings.
The volumetric elements serve as the building’s load-bearing and stiffening structures, with LVL panels proving to be a sensible choice for the frame. With the use of LVL, raw material consumption can be optimised per floor, increasing the frame’s lightness from the bottom up, finally resulting in a pole frame on the top floors.
These multi-layered structures of plasterboard and wood added their own challenges to the sound engineering design, but when done well, wooden apartment building structures can have excellent sound insulation. Care was taken in the selection of roof material to improve interior acoustics, creating a pleasant soundscape in the apartments.
In the event of fire, the high-pressure mist sprinkler system should reduce the amount of water damage. Fire safety requirements are demanding for wooden multi-storey buildings, meaning that very little of the frame’s wood could be left visible.
Floor heating and apartment-specific ventilation give residents the freedom to keep temperatures at a comfortable level and to regulate their energy consumption To further lower the carbon footprint, the buildings have solar panels and an automated system that predicts energy consumption.
The construction project
Project planning began in February 2021 once the design–build contract had been signed. The total construction time was 14 months, beginning with earthworks at the turn of 2021. Due to the plot’s substrate, the foundations required stabilisation and reinforced concrete piling as a pre-emptive measure. Work on the foundations and the civil defence shelter started in March 2022. As weather protection, the construction site used the buildings’ actual roofs, which were completed on site in segments on top of the foundations. The first modules were installed at the end of May, and module installation was complete in November for both buildings. There are 144 modules in total, and they come with factory-installed interior decoration and furnishings. Only the internal and external joints and the building technology connections needed to be made on site. Construction was complete in December-January 2022, and the project was handed over to the client on schedule in February 2022.
The Oulu-based Avario is currently part of the Arco Architecture Company. Arcon’s Oulu unit specializes in wood construction and the design of kindergartens, nursing homes and schools. Their comprehensive design expertise extends also to wooden multi-storey buildings, with a special focus on superior architecture and the intelligent use of sites and interior spaces – without forgetting lifecycle effects.
Project in brief
Espoon Asunnot Hyljetie 3 Espoo
- Location | Espoo
- Purpose | Residential apartment building
- Constructor/Client | Espoon Asunnot Oy
- Valmistumisvuosi | 2023
- Floor area | 4 386 m2
- Total area | 5 815 m2
- Volume | 19 400 m3
- Architectural Design | Markku Ranne, Arco Architecture Company
- Structural design | Jukka Pulkkinen, BD-Con Oy
- Akustiikkasuunnittelu | Lauri Vikström, Akukon Oy
- Palotekninen suunnittelu | Kati Pasto, Insinööritoiminto Pasto
- LVIA-suunnittelu | Heikki Hurtig, Insinööritoimisto Airlon Oy
- Electrical design | Joonas Kiuru, Silvea Oy
- Interior design | KW-Component Oy
- Pääurakoitsija | KW-Component Oy
- Wood component supplier | KW-Component Oy
- Photographs | Jaakko Matikainen, Visuad
- Text | Heikki Kilpijoki, Ari Laitinen ja Arttu Terho