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SUNILA - workers' housing

The first workers' housing to be built in Sunila was the two 2-storey blocks of flats named Mäntylä and Honkala, built in 1937. The plans of the buildings are simple and repetitive. The outer walls are light-weight concrete block, whereas the rest of the housing in Sunila is built in red brick finished with a light white render. The simple volumes of the former are broken up by the protruding cross-walls, which are slightly stepped both horizontally and vertically.

At the time they were built, the houses represented a huge step forward in the standard of living of the workers. The lack of modernisation since then, however, left the flats obsolete and unpopular, and in recent decades led to an unhealthy concentration of social problems in the area.

In recent years, the buildings have finally been modernized to modest present-day standards: the toilets have been extended to make small bathrooms, the plumbing and electrical wiring have been renewed and telecommunication networks have been installed. The guiding principle of the renovation was a minimum intervention in order to preserve the original spatial proportions and details.

Block of flats Honkala
photo: Tapani Mustonen 2000
Repetitive unit in original condition: one and two room flats with toilet and kitchenette

Unit after modernisation: toilets enlarged to bathrooms. Minimum and large alternatives for two-room flats
Renovation design: Arkkitehdit Mustonen Ky, Tapani Mustonen
Mäntylä & Honkala       Mäntylä & Honkala       Mäntylä & Honkala
Interior of temporary museum apartment with furniture and objects from the 1940s. It was common for a family of six to live in a two-room flat like this.

Mäntylä & Honkala       Mäntylä & Honkala      
Mäntylä & Honkala Mäntylä & Honkala      
Modernized apartment just after completion:

Entrance hall with original doors and coat rack. Ceiling is lowered about 5 cm for electrical installations.

Living room with original alcove and cupboards.

Toilet is extended into kitchen to allow for shower alcove with wall of glass blocks.

New electrical and telecommunication installations are hidden behind new skirting board. All plumbing is renewed.
Renovation design: Arkkitehdit Mustonen Ky, Tapani Mustonen

English language consultant: Gekko Design.

  Design by Laniqatuotanto