Lastenkodinkatu 7. Original design of a house and bakery by Bertel Gripenberg in 1955. The bakery annex was transformed into apartments in 1994 by Harto Helpinen. The terraced annex grows from two to four floors in the back. Seeing a glimpse of it from the bus window for many many years, it has always seemed to me strangely ambivalent in character. It seems to be merging the prefab idealism of the 50’s and 60’s with some kind of vacation village architecture of the 70’s and it still can’t shake off the fact that it is, after all, a sober urban infill project of the 90’s with cheap materials and little opportunities for fancy detailing.
The facade of the annex that replaced the bakery. The simultaneously serious and silly composition keeps making me happy although it looks better on paper than in reality.
The terrace house layout is relatively rare in Finland and manages to give a sense of luxury to the front apartments. The generous apartment terraces span the whole width of the building and are used intensively by the inhabitants judging by the amount of furniture and decor.
Strangeness factors: unusual site – city centre infill; building volume dictated by an older industrial building on the same site; rare typology – a tiny example of an “apartment hill” which creates unusually big terraces, almost private oases; architectural ambiguity – cannot easily be placed into any category in style or time.