Housing design, Landscape architecture, Vaasa, Finland
“The “fortress” formed by the Kompassi building is a fitting metaphor for a project that completes the block and restores its integrity. It adds an element of firmness to the incoherent environment, generates the image of security and community, while providing a compass direction for the future.” H. Aitoaho, “Fortress”, Ark Review, n.5, 2013.
Located in the former military area of Vaasa city center, the curved shape block is forming a significant landmark surrounded by regular rectangular city structure. The block was named Kompassi (Compass) due to its significant role pointing the orientation in the conjunctions of old military axis of the city, and its quality to reflect the orientation of sun by increasing the size of opening towards the southwards.
Energy saving has been one of the main principals in the design. Semi-heated balconies opens into the courtyard, and form buffer zone against both cold and heat. This solution also increases outdoor living qualities in the cold north. The construction was designed technically to improve energy efficiency. Semi-heated balconies made possible to design facades into more unified and characterized
Ecology and landscape architecture was essential for us. Rain water recycling was designed for hole block, and it contained green rooftop areas. Curved terraced buildings form protected courtyard for inhabitants. Green zones around ground floor are apartments, which also have their privates terraces as extension of the living to the garden. As the heart of the housing is the shared inner yard circle, which contains vibrant plantation and playgrounds. Outer yards are forming natural landscape of slopes with grass, natural meadows planted perennial vegetation.
Serum architects won a plot allocation competition in 2008 with collaborative proposal with OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture operating in Seinäjoki. Collaborative project was realized in four housing units during 2009-2013, where both offices had their areas of design. SERUM team was in charge of outer parts of project: starting from facades to landscape and outdoor areas design, whereas OOPEAA were designing the inner parts of the buildings. Appointed principal designer by the means of Land Use and Building Act was Anssi Lassila (OOPEAA).