2014 - 2015
Arcturuksenkatu 6, Helsinki
1195 sq.m.; 14 apartments
Juha Leiviskä, Arkkitehtitoimisto Helander & Leiviskä
About the project
Where to find homes for mentally disabled young people?
The story of Kipparintalo, located in the new Kalasatama district, began more than ten years ago when parents to children with a mild mental disability started thinking about the future living arrangements for the children. Where would they go when they left their family homes? The discussions resulted in founding an association for mentally disabled children and their parents, called Savulaiset.
“From the start, our goal has been to build a home for our youngsters. Most of them have gone to school together and they know each other. They more or less of the same age and they are facing similar circumstances when they move away from home,” says Leena Tyynilä, chair of Savulaiset.
In August, the many years’ worth of effort will be rewarded when the young, now roughly in their twenties, will move into Kipparintalo.
A home close to the city centre
Savulaiset is co-builder of Kipparintalo together with Setlementtiasunnot and the City of Helsinki. Architect is Juha Leiviskä. Prior to the construction, Fira organised project development workshops called Verstas. Fira is also the overall contractor.
“Kipparintalo has no less than 17 corners, when most apartment buildings have six or seven. The site is small, the house has many angles and a double-pitched roof of hollow-core slab, which required precision planning,” says Mikko Kivelä, site engineer from Fira.
Five-storey Kipparintalo has fourteen rental apartments plus a common room, a gym and a sauna. There is also a group home for four young persons with autism, where they will have staff available any time.
“There’s a bedroom and a kitchen next to the living room, a toilet and a balcony. And I have nice view to the Mustikkamaa island.”
Tommi Tyynilä is looking forward to a stage in life and more independence. Naturally, his family is welcome to pay him a visit, but not without calling in advance! Tommi especially likes that he will be moving into a house where many of his childhood friends will also be living in their own flats.
Hopes become homes
Even before moving in, the residents of Kipparintalo and their families have become a close-knit group and they have gotten to know the house through site visits as well as photos and computer images. They have made the building of their homes real for the young and their families.
Tommi Tyynilä and the other young people were able to visit the empty lot when the excavation works were about to start. They celebrated the occasion with soft drinks and doughnuts. People from the neighbouring houses were also invited to the celebration to introduce them to the project and their future neighbours.
The roofing party was another happy occasion, celebrated with salmon soup, coffee and cake as well as great music. And best of all: everybody got a chance to see their flat. The day was celebrated by the future inhabitants of Kipparintalo and their families, the architects, Fira and the builders, as well as representatives from Setlementtiasunnot and the City of Helsinki.
The year 2015 was a time of big and happy changes for Tommi Tyynilä. At the end of the year he will complete his training at the Helsinki Deaconess Institute and hopes to find a job in the restaurant industry. Before that, he will celebrate the completion of Kipparintalo in June and, finally, move into his own flat in August.