This 1960s terraced house in Helsinki was renovated respecting the original atmosphere and era

The lush trees hide a quiet, beautiful terraced house like a little treasure. Tomi Hämäläinen and Marjaana Nikula’s home is located in the seaside village of Tammisalo in eastern Helsinki.

Open fireplace in the living room
The crown jewel of the living room is an understatedly beautiful open fireplace, which was renovated in the same way as everything else in the apartment: thoroughly. There is access to the library from the living room.

THE 1960s TERRACED HOUSE in Tammisalo, Helsinki was designed by architect Touko Neronen, also known for his terrace houses in the Vuosaari district of the city. It was one of the first larger construction projects in the area at the time.

In this two-story apartment, the floor area is divided into two functionally: the upper floor, located at street level, is divided openly so that its functions naturally follow each other, winding around the hallway and staircase in the middle. With its living room and dining room, the upper floor is suitable for all sorts of get-togethers.

The lower floor, on the other hand, is divided into private, quiet spaces: a bedroom, study, everyday living room and bathroom and washing facilities.

A door with a glass window
The entrance to the two-story home is from the upper floor.
A wooden lattice next to stairs
Although no changes were made to the layout during the renovation, a beautiful wooden lattice was installed to border the staircase. It provides visual shelter while letting light through.
GUBI  Semi pendant 47 cm, matt black
The open space upstairs is divided into a living room and dining area. The room is illuminated by GUBI Semi ceiling lamps, while the sofa and chairs are PK31 and PK22 by Fritz Hansen. The Tile cushions are by Muuto.
The light filters softly through the venetian blinds. The apartment benefits from the landforms of the area: the views carry over the roof of the opposite house all the way to the neighboring district.

When Tomi Hämäläinen and Marjaana Nikula bought the apartment five years ago, they had it stripped down to the bare bones. Why? Because it felt better to do the whole thing well all at once than to just superficially spruce up the old interiors. Antti Rouhunkoski of the Poiat design studio was involved in planning the changes.

Not so many alterations were made to the base, as the new residents were happy with the division of space as it was. But for the most part, the apartment was largely updated to be modern without losing the original atmosphere. The best thing about Rouhunkoski’s professionalism was his knowledge of materials: when an old house is being renovated, it’s essential to be especially careful and attentive to the old building in order to achieve the desired end result with the chosen materials.

Hario V60 Buono drip kettle 1,2 L, matte black
The oak veneered kitchen is in the same spirit of the era as the rest of the home. The electric fittings are from Berker, and fit beautifully into the architecture of the 1960s despite containing modern technology.
GUBI Semi pendant 47 cm, matt black
In the renovations, the apartment was stripped down to its skeleton and the choices were made with a close ear to the era in which it was built, while at the same time using modern technology.
Vitra Wire Chair DKR, black
The proportions and graceful shapes of the teak chest of drawers and other furniture come into their own in this terraced house completed in the early 1960s. The black Wire chairs are from Vitra. The raised roof slope creates an impressive atmosphere in the space.
Vitra Wire Chair DKR, black
The residents have been collecting furniture from the 1950s and 1960s for fifteen years, through auctions and by other means.

The couple had thoughtfully collected home furniture for the past fifteen years. They wanted to bring their pre-owned furniture into their new home and make the whole thing work without having to make a lot of purchases when changing homes.

The furniture in the home was acquired gradually over the course of 15 years.

The new residents are particularly fond of Danish furniture designed in the 1950s and 1960s – they love the minimalism, elegance and scale of the esthetics. Now, in a contemporary apartment, that scale and design feel particularly appropriate: as if these design items have found their real home at last.

Vitra Wire Chair DKR, black
Antti Rouhunkoski from the Poiat design studio helped the residents in planning the renovations of the apartment, and above all in determining the range of materials to be used.
Agrob Buchtal's burned Craft tile
Agrob Buchtal's burned tile goes well with wooden surfaces and details.
Vertical wall tiles in the bathroom
Vertical wall tiles and classic materials keep the toilet and bathroom visually in line.
Vertical wall tiles in the bathroom
The apartment’s bathrooms are downstairs. The indirect lighting creates a wonderful atmosphere.
Agrob Buchtal burnt orange Craft series tiling
The bathroom is finished with the same Agrob Buchtal burnt orange Craft series tiling as the hallway.

The height differences in the living area do full justice to the views from the windows: the view carries from the windows over the opposite house all the way to the Roihuvuori water tower. In the home, the occupants move with the light during the course of the day. The sun rises on the breakfast table and reaches the living room for the evening spent together at the end of the day. And when it gets dark, they head downstairs.

Louis Poulsen AJ wall lamp, black
A carpet was installed in the bedroom to soften the feel and acoustics. Solid walnut wood Model B stool from Vitra, AJ wall lamp from Louis Poulsen.
A vintage bookshelf
The alcove that opens from the living room is a peaceful little nook where the sun shines in the mornings.
A detail of a book cover
The scale and design language of the apartment seem particularly appropriate: as if as if the furniture had found their real home at last.
Vitra  Eames Lounge Chair, new size, American cherry - black leather
The ceiling lamp is from DCWéditions, the classic Eames Lounge Chair from Vitra.

The large windows make not only the times of the day, but also the cycle of the year visible in the home. From the alcoves on the upper floor the occupants can watch the blooming of the cherry tree again in the spring.

Get inspired

Wire chair DKR
Semi pendant
Tile cushion
Santa & Cole
Cesta lamp
Buono drip kettle
Räsymatto plate
Lapuan Kankurit
Terva towel
Louis Poulsen
AJ wall lamp

Text: Hanna-Katariina Mononen Images: Sameli Rantanen

This story was originally published in the Asun magazine’s issue 41.

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