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Senior Citizens′ Housing Sandels
Helsinki, Finland, 2000

Senior Citizens′ Housing Sandels

Client: Pension fund of the cooperative banks OP-Eläkekassa
Location: Töölö, Helsinki, Finland
Year of completion: 2000
Gross area: 7 840 m²
Volume: 24 850 m³

A site on the edge of the grounds of the Hesperia Hospital in Helsinki has turned out to be an excellent location for senior citizens' housing: a variety of services are close by, a park is next-door and the street environment is peaceful. Also, a valuable and unique factor in the milieu is the complete and architectonically high-class buildings, built at the beginning of the 1930's, along the adjacent east side of the street.

The new building has been fitted into the streetscape to form a dialogue: it is lower than the multi-storey buildings opposite, and is set back a little from the street line. The architectonic expression consciously represents the present day but takes into account the valuable setting. The solid parts of the façade are rendered and painted insulating building blocks. Glass has been used as large windows and surfaces to bring in an abundance of natural light. Simple steel details converse across the street with the horizontal lists and simplified decorative motifs of the transition period between classicism and functionalism.

The new block comprises 88 flats, the major part being two- or one-room flats. There are also service and club spaces, and exercise, sauna and swimming pool facilities for the residents, and partly also for outsiders. All parts of the building have been designed for the needs of physically challenged people, and special equipment can be gradually introduced depending on the individual needs of the residents.