Uunisepäntie Semi-detached Houses
A Pair of Semi-detached Houses in Oulunkylä, Helsinki
The building site is located in a tightly knit area in Metsälä, a 1000 inhabitant subdivision in western Oulunkylä. Traditionally comprised of mainly single family homes of wooden construction, the area has seen an increase in semi-detached and terraced houses from the 1970’s onwards - the variety of which is on display all around the site.
The situating of the future homes for four families on the narrow piece of land presented quite a challenge. Through careful consideration of the rules and restrictions set by the area master plan and Helsinki City Public Works Department, the houses were fitted in place in a way that best saw to their architectural quality. Owing to the differences in height on site, the garages could be built-in as part of the basement floors instead of building separate shelters for cars (as mandated by the master plan). This way, the space reserved for both green courtyards and apartments were maximised. Sectional studies were used to adapt the newly modified elevations of the building site to those of the neighbouring properties.
The design of the semi-detached houses strives be simple, beautiful, well-proportioned, sympathetic, intimate, and original, in a way befitting of their context in the urban landscape. The pitched roof forms of the houses stretch outwards, origami-like from the middle, articulating the two separate apartments inside and giving each of them a more private view.
The houses are plastered green, the one by the street a lighter shade than the one in the back. Thorough analysis of the surroundings and numerous studies were made to decide on the colours. In the end, the green fit nicely to its surroundings, complimenting both the red and yellow shades in the vicinity. Depending on the angle of the sun, the tilting of the walls will add to the different shades of green.
Photos: Marc Goodwin, archmospheres