In English | Issue 4/2021

Apartment building Kaarlo Sarkian katu

Apartment building Kaarlo Sarkian katu
Photo credit: Tuomas Uusiheimo

An honorary mention was given in the Concrete Facade of the Year 2021 competition to Playa Arkkitehdit Oy for their residential project on Kaarlo Sarkian Katu.

The apartment building that stands between two massive multistorey car parks in Espoo needed to be given a distinctive character that would enhance the quality of the living environment.

On the main facade of the building, the windows are tied together using a facade system consisting of a composition of two precast apron cladding panels with different finishes. The strong and identifiable reddish tone of the facades was produced by adding red dye in the grey cement and base aggregate. The joints of the precast sandwich panels were adapted so as to make them part of the external architecture by placing them around the window frames as well as on the interfaces between the reliefpatterned and the smooth surfaces.

On the courtyard side, the balconies with a south-west aspect give the facades a pleasant sparsely scaled rhythm.

Sculptor Pertti Kukkonen participated in the design of the precast form-concrete panels. The relief on the facade cladding panels appears organic and alive, despite there only being a 10 mm depth difference in the patterning. Finn-Form Oy produced the dune-like form matrix for the casting of the panels based on a Styrofoam model provided by the artist. The finished panels have an exposed-aggregate surface. The other facade surfaces are form concrete surfaces dyed with red pigment.

This project is an excellent example of how creative design has made it possible to provide state-subsidised rental housing within tight budgetary limits, yet to a high architectural standard.

Read the entire article in Finnish and see the images >>