Designing Around An Old Oak Tree

Vantaa City authorities wanted to revive and use more efficiently the neighbourhood  and its properties of Tikkurila’s city centre. As a part of this undertaking, the site at Neilikkatie 11 was rezoned in order to maximise the property’s potential. Dilapidated old strip mall was removed and a new 8-storey assisted-living apartment building was planned in its stead. At the very edge of the site was an old oak tree that got a protected status.

The Neilikkatie project was contracted by Fira KVR, and included Saga Care Oy assisted-living apartments for the elderly as well as Forenom halfway-house rental flats.

The two 8-storey houses are connected by a low-lying building where a restaurant is located. As the site takes up the corner part of the street, the higher buildings create a typical street scape. In order to give the oak tree a lot of room and light, the low-lying restaurant building is situated further away from the street. Thus the restaurant also gained natural tree shade for its terrace. 

Designing Apartments and Courtyards For Assisted Living

The restaurant and retail spaces look onto an arcade underneath the Kielotie facade. The building themselves were erected using prefabricated concrete units and the exterior was plastered, except for the ground floor exterior walls, which are covered in natural stone. The restaurant building’s exterior is wood covered. The building’s ventilation is centralised, and, with exception of the parking space, fitted with sprinklers. Both buildings have hospital-size elevators in addition to personal ones. The design of Forenom halfway-house rental apartments floor plan facilitates the conversion into elderly-friendly residence at a later date, if the need arises.

The assisted-living set-up gives the elderly residents the opportunity to live as independently as they wish: purchase assistance if they need it or eschew it entirely. The apartments themselves are outfitted as any other up-to-code living space, except for the bathroom spaces: besides the standard unfettered access to bathroom utilities, these have an additional element of ease of use and safety. All residences feature generous-sized, glazed balconies and all the ground floor flats on the yard side have patios.

Retail spaces, restaurant kitchen, gym, sauna and physiotherapy pool are all located on the first floor. Technical and housekeeping spaces are in the basement. Residents’ safety while moving is assisted by shallower-than-usual stairways  between floors. The courtyard is green and secluded, with walking paths that ensure that its elderly residents can have their daily walks in a calm and safe area. The car park is located underneath the whole of the courtyard area. 


Location: Tikkurila, Vantaa

Size: 16 000 gr sqm

Completion: 2018.

Developer: Fira Oy


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