Integrating new wooden housing into an existing neighbourhood

The Metsäpirtintie project aims to strategically densify an existing housing plot within close proximity to public transport and versatile natural areas. Situated between the Kehä I Road and low-rise houses, the project seeks to mediate between the contrasting scales as well as integrate with its surroundings. It also uses contemporary wood construction and natural landscaping to create an attractive and high-quality housing block.

Location: Espoo, Finland

Size: 9 000 m2

Status: City planning, ongoing

Client: Lehto Asunnot Oy

Team: Emma Koivuranta, Sirkku Huisko, Rubén Tomás Verde, Bertta Röning, Merve Ünlü, Sofia Juntunen



The housing project is located in Pohjois-Tapiola, Espoo and consists of 12 linear volumes ranging from two to four storeys tall. The tallest buildings are placed on the eastern edge of the site, shielding it from the dust and noise of Kehä I. In the middle of the site, buildings are lowered to three stories and to blend it with the existing neighbourhood, two-storey buildings are placed by Metsäpirtintie Road.

The courtyards between the buildings play an important role in the design. They aim to preserve the diverse natural atmosphere of the area and the existing greenery. The courtyards are divided into smaller areas with different surface materials, light structured bicycle storages with green roofs and walls, and versatile water elements. A rain garden is introduced to enhance the landscape while reducing stormwater runoff.  The lush courtyards also have distinct characters and functions providing spaces for play, exercise as well as communal farming.

The buildings, constructed from a wooden modular system, are simple and coherent, which highlight the green and vibrant courtyards. Private yards and varied balconies and terraces bring diversity to the facades, while playful roof shapes and stained wooden facades create a distinctive identity for the housing block.