The housing development forms part of the residential area established as a result of the “Modern Wooden Town on the West Bank of the Porvoo River” design competition. Our office submitted the winning design proposal for the competition. This result did not secure us a commission to design the buildings themselves, but on the basis of our proposal we drew up the town plan for the housing area as well as the construction method guidelines for the project.
The residential quarter opens onto an east-facing river landscape and is bordered to the south by a park area. The buildings’ gable ends and long sides are set squarely with the plot borders and are linked by wooden board fencing. In the manner of a traditional wooden town, the distinction between the public road aspect and the semi-private yard milieu is clearly defined.
The quarter’s buildings consist of two-storey wooden houses. The area’s terraced and semi-detached houses are located on the west side, with detached houses situated along the riverside. The parking spaces for the buildings are enclosed by brick walls and wooden storehouses in the quarter’s interior. The one and a half room deep framework of the houses is consistent with the natural dimensions of wooden construction and provides open, well-lighted apartments.
The footings and base floors are concrete. The exterior walls were delivered to site as prefabricated wooden elements complete with pre-installed and pre-painted windows and wide exterior cladding boards. The buildings are painted in traditional Nordic red and yellow ochre in keeping with their historical setting.
The results of the architectural design competition for the Porvoo residential quarter were first announced in 1998, although the design commission itself was not realised until 2005. Over this seven year period the original drive and passion for the competition and the nationwide “Modern Wooden Town” project as a whole began to wane, with enthusiasm being ultimately eclipsed by dayto- day arm-wrestling between construction firm project managers and the architect.
Project in brief
Porvoon Jokineito Housing Association
- Location | Porvoo
- Purpose | Residential building
- Constructor/Client | SRV Westerlund Oy
- Architectural Design | Tuomo Siitonen Architects
- Structural design | Insinööritoimisto Gabrielsson & Pietiläinen Oy
- Contractor | SRV Westerlund Oy
- Year completed | 2005
- Photographs | Jussi Tiainen and Kimmo Räisänen
- Text | Tuomo Siitonen