Award Shortlisted
Status Europan 13, Finland
Client The City of Jyvyskala
Program Housing
Area 30,000 m2
Location Jyvyskala, Finland



X. Y.

Vernacular Finnish architecture evolved from the simple log frame — a single rectangular space that supported many functions and many people altogether. We imagine a log frame at a larger urban scale. The building acts as a boundary that defines and creates a new interior. The new buildings, comprised of a multiplicity of typologies, form an enclosed whole. Individual buildings connect to each other to define a spacious “living room” a central farmyard claiming the communal outdoor space as a fundamental quality of the place.

The proposal uses the new development to complete and reinforce the existing scheme. Working with the logic of a framed landscape the proposal is an archetype derived from the original masterplan. Two large perimeters define and contain the existing spaces, completing a trilogy of squares across the terrain. This precise and strategic move respects the existing structure and logic of Kortepohja, embracing the existing conditions, and giving new civic dimension to the space through enclosure.

The regularity and simplicity of the frame offers diversity and flexibility within simple cost efficient means. The modest monumentality defines both the housing and the larger area, absorbing two scales: the intimacy and specificity of the domestic space, and the scale of the urban, collectively framing the landscape and supporting the existing masterplan.

The project operates at multiple scales to deliver a versatile, flexible solution for the future — the potential to operate and vary over time in response to social, economical and political conditions. Rather than advancing a fixed solution, the frame offers a system that can allow for a vast number of typological permutations whilst maintaining the coherence of the existing and new masterplan. Typologies are distributed in response to the context and surrounding conditions. The addition of new typologies to the existing blocks is the opportunity to positively increase the diversity and complexity of the housing estate.

Interspersed between the typologies are shared spaces where the different members of the community can come together. These winter-gardens offer a variety of activities and supplement the private domestic space. They are simple single volume spaces that can be programmed as the community needs it, for example: child-care, community hall, crafts centre/art studio, meeting space, local library, shared living room. These spaces are flexible and adaptable so they could also be used for local events, hire spaces and community gathering.

In collaboration with Robota