Woodberg Oy’s As Oy Laajasalon Greija project was built on the site of a former grocery store in the Yliskylä area of the Laajasalo district in Helsinki. The project is a model example of how to add buildings to an existing residential area. The long since defunct grocery store was demolished, and exceptional permission was granted to plan a town house with six apartments and a storage building.
The exterior wall structure of As Oy Laajasalon Greija, built by Woodberg Oy, is 200 mm thick CLT sheet. In the apartment interiors, the wood surface of the wall structure is prominently visible.
The light cladding on the lower portion of the building links it to the light-toned apartment buildings in Laajasalo. The distinctive, dark volume hovering over the light lower portion creates a contrast with the light wood of the interiors and balconies. The larger window surfaces in the apartments open onto the southeast from the living rooms and master bedrooms. The entrances and kitchen windows are located on the north side of the building. The parking places are on the west side of the site, in the same location as the former grocery store’s parking lot.
The apartments are 77 m2 and two storeys. The floor solution is based on creating a feeling of spaciousness by placing interior fixtures, doors and windows in a way that never blocks the view out. The first floor extends over the entrances. This creates sheltered entrances and adds just the right amount of additional space to the precisely dimensioned floor plan to allow the flexible placement of furniture in both bedrooms. The walls between the yards visually extend the living room outwards. The white volume of the lower floor connects the yards together, making the exterior areas an integral part of the building’s architecture.
A solid wood CLT exterior wall structure was a major starting point for the design, as were of course the general properties of the site. The structure itself is sufficiently insulated so that no separate insulation wool is needed. The intention was to leave the elegant wood surface of the exterior wall’s CLT elements visible wherever possible. Other interior surfaces were designed to be compatible with the visible wood. The intermediate floors, ceiling structures, and partitioning walls are also made of wood with the wooden surface in plain sight. Residents were allowed to select the floors coverings themselves.
All CLT elements were custom-made for the project. The robust stairs were made from the materials left over from cutting door and window openings into the elements. These pieces were finished with a CNC milling cutter at the factory. The electrical installation conduits were machined into the elements.