When Mira and her 12-year-old son Luka moved into their new home, all their neighbours also moved in on the same weekend. The apartment building with 42 apartments on Koipitaipaleenkatu in Vuores, Tampere, was completed at the end of June. You can actually feel the newness of the apartment on your footsoles when standing on the light-coloured parquet floor.
When the residents of the whole building move in at the same time, it also offers a good opportunity to get acquainted with the new neighbours. Mira and Luka’s apartment is one of the largest three-room apartments in the building.
“There will certainly be a good sense of community in the building. All the residents of various ages seem to be nice people,” Mira believes.
The first residential meeting will be held the following week.
Quick moving decision
The 74-square-metre apartment is white and bright. A huge glazed balcony brings even more living room. The windows open up in three different directions, and you can see forest through all of them. When standing on a round pink rug at the end of the hallway, you can see out through almost all the windows of the apartment. Mira found the apartment a bit by accident and was surprised that she got it.
“In spring, I was browsing through apartments in Vuores, and this building was in advance marketing at the time. I knew the area because we lived in Hervanta near here, and we had been driving and wandering around in this neighbourhood. Quite shortly after I contacted Lumo Homes, we received a message that the apartment is ours,” she recalls.
It was the first time that the mother and son moved into a totally new building. They were given a chance to see the apartment a couple of times during the construction phase, and on the second visit Luka accompanied Mira to the site.
“The first thing I had in mind when entering the apartment was that it was incredibly bright and had a nice layout. And the balcony was the final jaw-dropper,” Mira says.
White, red and yellow as decoration colours
Before moving in, Mira and Luka lived in a three-room apartment in Hervanta with three square metres more space. Before that, they had a home just outside Tampere city centre. The family likes living on the southern side of Tampere. The border of Tampere and Lempäälä runs right behind the carport of the new house.
A short moving distance was also good with a view to the sixth-grader Luka’s school attendance.
“I go to school in Hervanta like before, and I take a bus or go by bike,” says Luka, who will start secondary school next autumn.
Mira can get to her workplace in the city centre by bus in about 20 minutes.
Since the old apartment was of about the same size as the new one, the move was easy in terms of furniture. The only new things bought for the apartment were a sofa and rug for the balcony. Overall, compared to the previous home, the decor became whiter, but there are still spots of colour in the apartment.
“In the old apartment, we had red kitchen cabinets. Now, it's rather nice to have white for a change,” says Mira.
However, the TV stand in the living room is bright red, and there are also bright colours in both bedrooms.
The 12-year-old boy's room shows his interests
In Luka’s room, the colours are white, orange and green. The curtains are striped, and the bedspread is green. The colours go together with the Uncle Scrooge picture on the wall, where Uncle Scrooge is jumping into a green pile of money.
“The picture is signed by Don Rosa, the artist who drew Uncle Scrooge. Luka received it as a gift from a Danish friend of mine,” explains Mira.
“I don’t know whether Luka’s interest in Uncle Scrooge derives from the fact that his mother never has any money,” she jokes.
The 12-year-old loves reading comics, and he has quite a stack of them on the shelf. Adding luxury to his room, Luka has a sofa under the bunk bed. In the former home, it was in the living room paired with another sofa, but now it could go to Luka’s room and found a good spot there.
Some other of Luka’s interests are also displayed in the room: Tappara, dogs, aikido and robots. On the bookshelf, Luka has a photo poster he made himself with him posing at Universal Studios with some characters from a Transformers film. It was taken on a common holiday trip a few years ago.
Michael Jackson in the living room
The rest of the apartment is filled with target of the mother's keen interest. On the walls and shelves, in addition to pictures drawn by Luka and some family photos, there are also photo collages and drawings of Michael Jackson. In the corner of the living room, a glass display filled with Michael Jackson memorabilia catches one’s attention: small dolls, album covers, books, pictures and a white glove made of an ordinary cotton glove and diamanté by Mira herself.
Mira has been a Michael Jackson fan for the past thirty years. She has also toured around the world for her hobby, seen exhibitions and visited shooting locations of music videos.
“I have also attended several seminars held by the technician Brad Sundberg, who was involved in the making of Michael's albums. I have attended them in the United States, Sweden and Germany, and last year, the seminar was held in Helsinki. This hobby gives me a lot. Through that, I have gained friends around the world,” says Mira, who works in an international sector.
In the glass display, there is also a stone found by the gate of Jackson's former home, Neverland. However, as the object with the highest sentimental value in her home Mira defines the autobiographical book of the King of Pop, Moonwalk, which has followed her from the very early days of being a fan.
“I was reading it already when I was 13, kind of translating it into Finnish. I went to my English teacher to ask about the hardest points. I still have the translation, and because of its translation errors, it’s sometimes funny to read,” she says with a laugh.
When Mira and Luka moved into their new home, the first thing they did was hold a housewarming party in the spirit of Michael Jackson. Part of the programme was to invent memes to Jackson pictures, and there are some party props can still be found on the bookshelf.
“When there’s a chance, it’s nice to throw a theme party,” says Mira.
The best thing is the balcony
Luka says that he prefers to listen to Bruno Mars and The Weeknd. The soft black sofa in the living room offers also a good place for playing Luka’s favourite game, Minecraft. It is also easy to persuade his mother to join in the construction game.
“I like it because, there, you can build almost anything,” explains Luka.
The family also cooks together.
“I've always had a sweet tooth and baked a lot. When living here, I have also taken a liking to cooking,” says Mira.
However, the place that both Mira and Luka like the most in their new home is the balcony. On the balcony, there are two big grey pillars, one of which is adorned with mood lights for decoration.
The best moment on the balcony is in the evening when you can lie on the sofa, admiring the sunset. In addition to the sofa, the balcony can accommodate an armchair, an exercise bike, a table group and a set of shelves, and yet it remains spacious.
Mira plans to have flowers planted across the whole length of the balcony wall.
“Then, when they start building houses on the opposite side of the road, the plants would provide an excellent visual barrier.”
For the time being, however, she does not need to worry about that, because there are no neighbours on the side of the building where the balcony is, just forest. The residents of Koipitaipaleenkatu learned about the building plans on the Lempäälä side of the border only after the moving day.
“But it doesn’t matter. We were aware of the fact that this is an evolving area, where new houses are being built all the time,” says Mira.
A colourful and modern home
Vuores is a new residential area and its architecture is colourful and cosy. The annual housing fair was held there in 2012. Many of the buildings have a modern decorative pattern on their ends or walls, and, in addition to red brick, there are also details blazing with many different colours on the exterior walls. That is one of the things that first caught Mira’s fancy in the area. Vuores is very close to nature – it has its own peace even though it is located close to the centre.
Little by little, important services have appeared on the streets: two local grocery stores, a pizzeria, a hairdresser’s and a café.
“The idea is to have more stores in the basements of buildings,” Mira knows.
According to the city of Tampere, on average, there are younger people living in Vuores than in other parts of Tampere, just like Mira and Luka.
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