Sand castles are busily built in the sandbox, there is a queue for the swings and the yard is full of happy laughter. On a sunny early autumn evening, the inner courtyard of Korpikontiontie 1 in Metsola, Vantaa, is full of action.
“Whenever the weather allows, many residents gather here in the courtyard in the evenings. There are many families with children living here and in the courtyard, it is easy to get to know your neighbours. When playing, the children become friends automatically,” says Maria Kuusela, who has been living in the building for several years.
According to Kuusela, the building is such a nice place to live first and foremost due to its cosy atmosphere and community spirit. All neighbours greet each other and new residents are welcomed warmly.
“Quite often, there is always more or less the same group of people participating in communal work and other events but here in the yard, everyone gets to know each other,” Kuusela says with a little laugh.
Janita Kunnas, who moved into the building only a bit over a month ago, has noticed the same.
“Maria and I have children of the same age and the courtyard has offered a chance to get to know the neighbours easily. The area is really child-friendly,” says Kunnas.
A peaceful Lumo home near services
Korpikontiontie 1 is only one kilometre from the busy Korso railway station. However, the hustle and bustle of the station area is nowhere to be seen and in the inner courtyard shaded by trees, you could think you are in a small town.
The tranquillity of the area and the community spirit in the Lumo building have attracted many long-term residents to Korpikontiontie. Pirkko Moskari has lived in the building since 2011, when she moved to Metsola as her daughter and grandchildren were living in the building.
“Now they have already moved elsewhere but I intend to live here for as long as possible. All the services I need are within walking distance but still, my home is in a very peaceful location,” Moskari says.
When her grandchildren were small, Moskari got to know many of her neighbours and soon she became “the granny” for children in the entire building. Since then, many of Moskari’s acquaintances have already moved elsewhere, with their children now bigger.
“It’s still nice to hear the sounds of children and life in general from the courtyard. It gives me a feeling of safety even though I don’t know the children so well any more,” she says.
The location and tranquillity were reasons also for Jonna Hautala to move to Korpikontiontie eight years ago.
“Schools and services are near but, on the other hand, especially this inner courtyard is very cosy and peaceful,” she notes.
Another aspect of Lumo living that Hautala especially likes is the fact that the funds received by the Lumo team can be used for acquiring necessary things for all residents to use. The acquisitions of Korpikontiontie’s Lumo team include, for instance, a grill and an inflatable swimming pool for children.
“If someone needs something, the first thing to do is to see if one of the neighbours has it. Babysitters have also been readily available. Previously, we used to take children from the whole neighbourhood to swim in the nearby outdoor swimming pool.”
A helping hand and a sympathetic ear
Residents who have lived in the building for a longer time try to look after each other otherwise, too. It is perfectly fine to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbour and, for instance, during the coronavirus crisis peak in the spring, you could always find someone to talk to in the courtyard.
“I hope that community spirit can be preserved in this building. Small acts are enough: say Hi! to your neighbours and ask them to join resident activities – community spirit just emerges,” says Maria Kuusela, who is a member of the Lumo team.
Maria Koppel, who moved to Korpikontiontie a year ago, has noticed the same.
“We were welcomed very warmly and it’s been nice to get to know the neighbours through children and get a chance to participate in all kinds of activities. Just last weekend we tidied up the courtyard together,” says Koppel.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the building’s joint events to a minimum and the traditional summer party, for instance, had to be skipped this year.
“Usually we have parties, communal work projects or small events a couple of times a year. I really hope we can organise at least our traditional Christmas party this year. It has often attracted many people and even Santa Claus has paid us a visit,” says Kuusela.
Events are organised both outdoors and in the building’s club room.
“The club room is quite small but it has a kitchen, which makes it easy to arrange refreshments for events,” notes Kuusela.
Other shared facilities are also praised by the residents.
“Each section of the building has its own drying room for hanging the laundry and the laundry room can be used for free. Little things like this make the building a more comfortable living environment,” Maria Koppel goes on to say.