Viikinmäki Community Centre
- 100 m
A series of semi-detached houses, by the architecture firm Kanttia2 Architects, were completed in 2022. The Housing company known as Bysantin Helmi represents the so-called Hitas housing production regulated by the City of Helsinki. Hitas is a system for regulating the prices of accommodation developed by the City of Helsinki that aims to provide home buyers with good, reasonably priced dwellings.
In total, fourteen dark-coloured wood-constructed houses were built in Viikinmäki district situated around eight kilometres north from Helsinki city centre. Since most of the area’s construction is based on concrete, the wood-framed Bysantin Helmi buildings are a speciality. The architectural idea is based on solid wood buildings winding up the steep cliff and built on concrete bases. The pairs of dwellings partly hang over their foundations. Above all, the aim has been to create an airy impression to the dwellings.
The houses have been constructed of CLT panels. The wood material is visible outside and inside the flats. On the façades, the colours used for the timber cladding are black and mustard, and the façades are characterised by large window surfaces and balconies with glass railings.
The Bysantin Helmi flats represent Finns’ contemporary housing preferences: the living spaces and kitchens are as open as possible, the windows are big, a sauna is an unquestionable part of the bathroom spaces, and bedrooms are located separately on a designated floor.
Looking at the row of buildings from the other side of the valley, they create a fun flashback to the architecture of low-rise buildings in the 1960s and 1970s: they are clear and object-like, and use a simple and pared-down colour palette.