Oulunsalo Municipal Offices
The Mother and Child Home (Ensi-Koti) in Oulu is a suburb-like, densely built high-rise. It was designed to offer a welcoming place in an urban area that had become inhuman in scale.
The architecture of the shelter is based on the milieu and scale provided by the public buildings in the old Tuira district. It stands on a park, and with the old Ensi-Koti home provides a sheltered court and greater privacy for residents.
The homely and sheltered sense given by the building has been achieved using eaves, balconies and covered areas, and these also act as intermediaries between outdoors and indoors.
Access to the building is via the discreet courtyard, not from the open street. In the interior, the appearance of a public building has been avoided; instead, there are places where mother and child can devote time to each other.
Modest practicality marks the functional aspect of the building, and this, too, is in the spirit of the classically influenced architecture of the old home.
The ‘hand-crafted’ exterior materials – yellow plaster and tranquil blue and blue-grey wooden weatherboarding – cover up the rational unit structure, in line with the building’s character. The tiled saddleback roof binds the parts of the building belonging to different periods into a single entity.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 6/1986