The student housing in Intiankatu signals the beginning of the dense urban fabric as one arrives in Helsinki. The buildings form a 200-metre-long wall which shelters the courtyards from traffic noise and exhaust fumes. The tower element acts as a landmark from the direction of the Lahti motorway.
The street-side elevations, walls built of brick and rendered white, are almost without windows. Access to the flats is via glass-fronted balconies in front of a red-brick wall. In the , the access balconies shine like lanterns.
The flats open up to the shelter of the courtyard side. The elevations with the warmer aspect are clad in vertical boarding with a translucent finish. The aim was to make the cladding look continuous, so the joints between the boards were staggered.
Simulated combustion test were carried out on the wooden elevations, which showed that the flats would burst into flames 520-650 seconds after ignition. As the fire develops, the window on the floor above would break 70-80 seconds after the flat below burst into flames. Windows in timber walls tend to break about 10 seconds earlier than windows in walls of non-combustible construction.
There is a layer of fire-protective plaster board below the timber cladding, and a fire break in the ventilation gaps at each floor level. There is noncombustible sheeting below the eaves and a pressedmetal profile to control combustion gases.
The timber walls are built in situ with a loadbearing concrete frame. The 28-mm cladding is Siberian larch planed with a grooved blade and fixed with the heartwood facing outwards.
Project in brief
Student housing, Kumpula
- Location | Kumpula, Helsinki
- Purpose | Residential building
- Constructor/Client | Helsingin seudun opiskelija-asuntosäätiö HOAS
- Architectural Design | Brunow & Maunula Architects
- Structural design | Insinööritoimisto EJT Oy
- Contractor | Rakennusliike Rakennuspetäjä Oy
- Year completed | 2007
- Photographs | Kimmo Räisänen
- Text | Pekka Ojalammi and Juhani Maunula