architect: K2S Architects

location: Helsinki, Finland

year: 2017

Maunula House is the central cultural and learning hub of a neighborhood being renewed. Located next to Maunula park in the center of the neighborhood of Maunula, the building is a center of public services to local residents of all ages. The library, the youth center and the adult education center cooperate seamlessly, enabling the co-usage and a high utilization rate of the spaces. Maunula House has been designed as a part of the City of Helsinki Pilot Project for Local Democracy.

photo by Mika Huisman
photo by Mika Huisman

Multiple workshops were arranged with local residents even before a single line of the building was drawn. The workshops utilized inclusive working methods, for example a rolestorming method where participants empathized with the design through a given role. Local residents participate in the planning of the activities of Maunula House even after the completion of the building. The building borders Pakilantie road in the north, Metsäpurontie road in the south, and Maunula park in the west. At the eastern side of the site, Maunula House has been built to attach to the façade of a new grocery store, which enables direct access between Maunula House, the grocery store and the parking spaces. The main entrance is located in the middle of the building on the side of Maunula park. The youth center has its own entrance at the southwestern side of the site.

photo by Mika Huisman
photo by Mika Huisman

The library is located in the northern wing. The wooden, freeform ceiling gives the library hall a distinct character. The glass wall facing the park in northwest provides the library spaces with light and views. There is a direct access from the library to the grocery store. The shared spaces of the users are placed around the main entrance in the middle of the building. The biggest one of these is the Metsäpuro hall. The shared spaces also include a café run by young employees. The youth center is located in the southern wing. Its lobby is directly accessible from the main lobby area. When necessary, the youth center can be separated from the rest of the building with sliding doors. The spaces for the adult education center have been gathered around the main lobby in the top floor of the building. The lobby spaces are defined by a golden yellow skylight bringing space and light to the widest point of the building frame. The spaces are directly accessible also from the roof parking area of the grocery store.

photo by Mika Huisman
photo by Mika Huisman

The façades of the building are mainly of light-colored brick, built on site. The surfaces around the main entrance are clad with pine and treated with a translucent finish. The glass façade of the library and main lobby is made of triple-layer insulating glass elements with a steel frame and SG-seaming. The supporting structure of the building is made of reinforced concrete and steel. The wooden cladding of the folding ceiling continues as a visually uniform surface from the interior spaces to the exterior. Maunula park will be renewed in the spring of 2017, becoming an extension for the activities in Maunula House and a stage for community events. The main feature of the park will be the artwork of the artist duo IC-98 (Visa Suonpää and Patrik Söderlund): Family Trees: Betula pendula (1948–2016). The work consists of old birch trees felled from the site and is divided into two parts: an apple tree grove in the park and graphic prints in the library hall.

address: Metsäpurontie 4, 00630 Helsinki
gross area: 3100 sqm
start of design: 08/2013
completion: 01/2017
architect: K2S Architects
Kimmo Lintula
Niko Sirola
Mikko Summanen
design team:
Jaakko West
Elina Koivisto
Tommi Terästö
Tetsujiro Kyuma
Tommi Mauno
Juho Vuolteenaho
Petri Ullakko
Matti Wäre
Tuuli Kanerva
Antti Soini
interior design: K2S Architects
structural design: Pontek Engineering / Kari Saarivirta
HVAC: Äyräväinen Engineering / Jukka Issakainen
electrical: Stacon Engineering / Kalevi Hämäläinen
landscaping: Näkymä Landscape Architects / Pia Kurki
developer consultant: SWECO PM / Perttu Valtonen, Jussi Mäkelä
client: City of Helsinki Real Estate Department / Erja Erra, Mika Malkki
users: Helsinki Adult Education Center
Helsinki City Library
Helsinki Youth Department
main contractor: YIT
suppliers: facciata in vetro, finestre e porte: Metus Finland Oy
Rivestimenti in legno e soffitti: Forssan Sisärakenne Oy
facciata in mattoni: Wienerberger Oy