• Residential block in Oulu
  • 2016 to 2019
  • Scope floor area 13 150 m2 / gross area 14 850 m2
  • Location Toppilansalmi, Oulu
  • Customer Lehto Asunnot Oy
  • Housing companies As Oy Oulun Ulappa, As Oy Oulun Poukama, As Oy Oulun Valkama, As Oy Oulun Luoto
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Starting point

The task was to design an entirely new residential block that would be part of the novel Toppilansalmi area, which is still very much under development. There were a few important challenges to solve: how to arrange parking, and how to organize the housing, as it was forbidden to open apartments towards a neighboring factory building. These challenges were turned into distinctive design features that add character and warmth to the block’s architecture.

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Location

Thanks to the new residential area of Toppilansalmi, the old Toppila harbour is seeing a new burst of life. The Karveli block is centrally located in this new area.

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Solution

Several 4 to 5-storey houses form a protective chain around the courtyard, and a darker-toned 8-storey tower serves as the block’s focal point. On the street side, the lower-rise houses create a serene appearance with their elegant white colour, while the courtyard side packs a bit more punch with its playful reddish brown hue. The architecture is characterised by the chessboard-like layout of the brick frames of the courtyard’s French balconies. The chessboard theme is repeated on the northern facade around the large windows of the stairwell.

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The houses wrap around a cosy courtyard constructed over the parking garage.

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This courtyard deck is a treasure shared by Karveli residents, offering an area secluded from surrounding traffic. The deck includes a playground, fitness and seating areas, a communal sauna, and a variety of plants and vines that add a welcoming touch of green.

*photos Ville-Pekka Ikola