Highly adaptable flats
Tampere University / L Architects Ltd / A-Kruunu Ltd. / City of Vantaa / HSY
Adaptable flats are very seldom built in Finland. The lack of dweller demand is one of the alleged reasons for this situation. However, if dwellers had better knowledge of their benefits, their demand might increase.
This virtual demonstration and the related interview study were arranged to analyse if dwellers see any benefit in systematically transformable flats which have two entrances, a possibility for various room layouts, and which can be divided up into two units (one smaller and one mid-size). Usually such family-sized flats in contemporary production have only one entrance and a minimal layout transformability.
The demonstration illustrates the value of the flat adaptability to the interviewed dwellers (see Demonstrated results). It is expected to raise the housing industry’s interest towards them, and by doing so, prolong the lifetime and usability of contemporary blocks of flats. If adaptable dwellings of this type become more common, there will be also substantial social and environmental impacts, as dwellings can be matched better to the various needs of dwellers and built domestic space can be utilised more effectively.
The virtual demonstration is based on the original spatial concept and building design by L Architects Ltd. The project will be implemented in Verkkosaari area of Helsinki in the near future by the developer A-Kruunu Ltd. A researcher of Tampere University and L Architects designed the systematically transformable layout options presented virtually in the demonstration. The researcher also interviewed participating families and couples and managed the virtual tour of the flats in 3D CAVE. HSY personnel helped inviting participants. City of Vantaa provided the 3D CAVE facility.
The virtual demonstration and the dweller interview conducted showed that dwellers do appreciate this type of adaptable flats. The interviewed dwellers see it as a good option for multigenerational living or adjusting living and working, and often also as a feature which increases the economic value of the flat. When adaptability options are well described and presented, dweller demand was now demonstrated to exist.
When informed about this outcome, we expect the industry to provide adaptable housing more extensively in the near future. As this adaptable flat concept was conceived very positively by the dwellers, this outcome should also inspire industry to develop other types of adaptable dwellings, and even start a market competition about the most lucrative and ecological adaptability solutions.
This demonstration focused on the spatial aspects of adaptable flats. However, further research on the effect of building services to the real-life transformability is required.