Venepuuntie 9 - Verstas
ASPA Housing Services Foundation
2012 - 2013
Venepuuntie 9, Espoo
About the project
Villa Huvi is a housing compound designed for fifteen your people with serious disabilities, each living in an individual apartment. The project was created and designed in a Fira Verstas workshop, involving representatives of the residents, the designer, the contractor and the City of Espoo.
The idea of Villa Huvi dates to 2008, when a group of parents started thinking about future living arrangements for their children.
“After having seen quite a few housing solutions for the seriously disabled, we came to the conclusion that they actually fell short of the requirements. As there was a need for Villa Huvi, we decided to start a joint project involving several families. In this project, we were able to highlight the residents’ and users’ point of view,” says Jorma Syväjärvi, chair of the support association Villa Huvin Ystävät ry.
The association started to chart possible cooperation and contractor partners. The chosen contractor was Aspa Housing Services Foundation and the designer was Ympäristösuunnittelu OK. Fira Verstas was used as a tool in the project, coordinating the actions of the project parties. The house was completed in 2015.
Verstas brings all parties around one table
“The Verstas workshop enables all project parties to define a common baseline, ensures that the designers have the right input data and that the criteria for quality and costs will be met. We learnt to know Fira when they contacted us and suggested cooperation,” says Jari Kuosa, head contractor at Aspa Housing Services Foundation.
Aspa introduced the collaborative forum to Villa Huvin Ystävät ry, who were enthusiastic about the idea. At Verstas, the parties met to discuss the project and to share their views. Fira chaired the discussions, asked questions, illustrated the planning process and the construction, and prepared minutes and budgets.
“Key to Verstas is that it involves several parties. At the time, our association consisted of eleven families. Villa Huvi was a project where we had to pay heed to the opinions and requirements of the clients, the contractor, the City of Espoo and the designer,” says Jorma Syväjärvi.
At Fira Verstas, it is easier to address users’ wishes and expectations.
“The future users and their representatives were involved in the planning from layout to fixtures, colours and materials. The residents many kinds of special needs, which is why we included storage space for aids and equipment in all rooms,” says architect Anneli Lyytikkä from Ympäristösuunnittelu OK.
Clear, constructive and competent
Fira Verstas workshops enable a dialogue where all parties will be heard. It is also easier, when the project coordinator is an external party.
“I’ve myself been in charge of many collaborative design projects. This time, I was cast in the role of head designer and the others were the ones being included in the process. That was really good. We had a really good atmosphere,” says Anneli Lyytikkä.
“Lauri Kaunisvirta from Fira chaired all our meetings. At its best, Verstas directs all parties to discuss the same issues. From the client’s perspective, it would be nice if the costs for the different options could be explained quickly at the meetings. It’s really typical for construction projects that the parties focus on different issues,” says Jari Kuosa.
“The house embracing a common courtyard enhances the sense of community. My experience of Fira is positive. They managed everything as agreed,” Anneli summarises.
It turned out just like it was supposed to be.