It is hard to get any closer to Helsinki city centre: An old and valuable yellow building has been standing at the corner of Iso Roobertinkatu 11 and Annankatu 5 since the year 1885. The building with a colourful history has been extended in the early 1900s and in the 1920s. Soon, the building will face new changes. This spring, the building’s apartments will be turned into Premium Plus Lumo homes that are the first of their kind.
“The building’s purpose of use will not change: the building has been used for residential purposes before as well, and the operations of the daycare centre and office premises will continue normally. We are now renovating 15 of the building’s apartments,” Construction Manager Kimmo Karppinen from Kojamo’s Property development explains.
The first and unique Lumo homes will be completed by the end of April 2021. The entire renovation process should be finished in the summer.
“The apartments are suitable for persons who value urban life and love living at the heart of the city. All services are literally behind the corner”, Karppinen says.
The square metres are being efficiently used, so the building does not feature any common areas. There are, however, attic storage spaces for the residents to use. Having a car is not a necessity in Punavuori: the closest store is some 20 metres away and there are museums, theatres and second-hand stores within a short walking distance.
Each Lumo home is unique
Renovating an old building and updating the building’s technology to meet modern-day requirements has not been an easy task, especially when almost everything has been renovated inside the apartments. As the interior designers Sanni Seppälä and Annina Mäki point out, the objective has been to restore the old features and atmosphere of the building.
“Old buildings such as this one contain very different types of apartments, and we have had to examine each apartment individually in terms of dimensions and functionality. The apartments have very different floor plans and even room heights”, Sanni Seppälä says.
Even the apartments’ floor plans have been renewed during the renovation. Some of the single apartments have been turned into one-bedroom apartments, and a second bedroom has been added to some of the one-bedroom apartments.
“An interior concept was created to support planning and has been utilised in some of the apartments. Some of the apartments have been updated to better meet the requirements of modern living by altering their floor plans. For example, bedrooms that seemed too large have been divided into two separate rooms,” Anniina Mäki explains.
A valuable building also requires high-quality renovation materials.
“As a precondition, however, we have only used materials that are easily available. This means that the materials can be easily repaired if required in the future.”
City homes for different situations in life
Punavuori is known as a lively area populated by families, single people, businessmen and artists. The building at the corner of Iso Roobertinkatu and Annankatu contains different types of homes for different situations in life, including single apartments, one-bedroom apartments and larger apartments with two bedrooms.
“We are now renovating 15 apartments, but in total there are 18 Lumo rental apartments in the building. Three of the apartments still have residents and will be renovated later. The sizes of the apartments vary from 36 to 122 square metres,” Karppinen says.
The furnishing and colours selected for the apartments honour the old style and architecture of the building.
“Old apartments have classical features that we wanted to emphasise. For instance, we have selected a classic herringbone flooring as the floor material and the skirting and door mouldings were selected with the building’s original style in mind. The inner doors were also restored in line with the original style,” Anniina Mäki explains.
The colours of the interior have also been renewed, featuring light and neutral tones.
“We wanted the style of the interior to appeal to as many people as possible,” Mäki adds.
Not all of the choices made during renovation have been classical and subdued, however. Bold colours and materials have been selected for the bathrooms.
“The style of the tiles is contemporary, but the stacking, measurements and lines adhere to the classical style. The bathroom furnishings feature broken green and grey colours,” Sanni Seppälä says.
The Lumo homes have been renovated in an energy-efficient manner and by respecting the old
In addition to respecting the style of the old building, matters like environmental friendliness, energy efficiency and sustainable solutions have been taken into account.
“With old buildings, it is not quite possible to reach similar numbers in energy efficiency as with new buildings. For example, the building uses gravitational ventilation, meaning that it has not been possible to arrange heat recovery. In principle, environmental values have impacted all material choices. We have also tried to avoid tearing down anything unnecessarily. All of the renovated features were renovated for a good reason,” Mäki explains.
The building’s energy efficiency will, however, improve in the future, despite the thermal insulation and external materials not being renewed.
“Modern technologies make it possible to implement solutions with better energy efficiency. In addition, it is now possible to better monitor the apartments’ indoor temperatures and water consumption, for example,” Karppinen points out.
High-quality renovation supports the principles of sustainable development. During the renovation, the objective has been to select sustainable technical solutions in addition to building materials.
“For instance, the electricity system of the building will be completely renewed. We have also favoured LED lights wherever possible,” Seppälä adds.