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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Text: Hanna-Katariina Mononen Images: Sameli Rantanen
This story was originally published in the Asun magazine’s issue 41.