21.8.2020

Tuuliniitty wooden apartment buildings

An architectural competition for a wood block in the Tuuliniitty district in Tapiola was organised in 2013 by Asuntosäätiö together with Metsä Group and the City of Espoo. Asuntosäätio’s wood apartment building is the first completed project in Tuuliniitty.

The building’s plot in the northern corner of Tuuliniitty is shared with a student residence of the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region (HOAS). Both buildings are made from wood. Asuntosäätiö’s building was completed in early 2020. Meanwhile, the HOAS student housing is still under construction and will be completed in spring 2021. In addition to the wood structure, the site has another unique feature by Espoo standards: it is pedestrian friendly as there are only a few parking spaces for the disabled and for visitors. The site is at the centre of Tapiola, about 100 m from the metro station.

A 1-storey tall outdoor sports equipment storage building connects Asuntosäätiö’s 6-storey building to the 13-storey student building that is under construction on the same plot. Together the buildings create an architectural ensemble that enlivens Tapiola’s centre with modern-day wood construction, which fits in with other ongoing modernisations of the area.

The building has 42 rental apartments with an average size of about 50 m2. Common spaces such as the sauna facilities, laundry room, meeting room and storage spaces are located on the ground floor.

The building’s intermediate floor elements and wall elements are made from wood, with the exception of the ground floor, which is reinforced concrete. Both the base floor and the intermediate floor between the ground floor and first floor use hollow-core slab elements. The vertical structures on the first to fifth floors use glulam pillars, with the load-bearing walls being mostly wood frame elements. The intermediate floor structures are mostly constructed from wooden slab-beam elements. The topmost ceiling and roof are made from wood. The overall stiffening of the wood structures is based on panel-stiffened wood walls and the wood intermediate floors transferring horizontal load to the walls. The horizontal loads are distributed from the stiffening wall lines by means of the hollow-core slab structure.

The facades mostly use panel cladding attached to wood framed load-bearing elements. This wood cladding is painted.

The ground floor’s outer walls and plinths are made from concrete elements with surface patterns resembling wooden casting moulds. The balconies use wood structures: beam frame balcony slabs, glulam pillar load-bearing vertical structures, and solid wood panel cladding.

Even within tight cost strictures, a few wooden details were woven in to showcase wood construction expertise and soften the overall look: the exterior doors are wood and the entrances are enlivened by a relief wall made from wood lathes. Unfortunately, current building regulations mandate that wood materials must be covered with gypsum board in interior spaces. Residents are typically greeted with concrete walls and metal doors on the ground floor, as well.

Project in brief

Tuuliniitty wooden apartment buildings

Tuuliniitty 3 – Espoo's first wood apartment building
  • Location | Tapiola, Espoo
  • Purpose | Residential building
  • Architectural Design | Arkkitehtitoimisto Jukka Turtiainen Oy
  • Volume | 23 660 m3
  • Floor area | 7 897 m2
  • Year completed | 2018
  • Photographs | Rasmus Pedassaar
  • Text | Jukka Turtiainen