Cozy studio apartment

Helsinki, 2020

Project time scale: 3 months
Location: Kallio, Helsinki, Finland
Construction year: 1959
Living area: 54 square meters

An average budget doesn’t have to lead to an average outcome. The first floor, two-room apartment in Kallio, Helsinki, was transformed into a one-person dream home without compromising on aesthetics and functionality. The goal of the uncompromising project was to ensure that the apartment not only meets but exceeds the resident’s expectations, and to increase the life cycle and monetary value of the apartment.

The design process began by setting a target atmosphere for the apartment and identifying the resident’s living needs, which then guided all future design decisions. The atmosphere of our living environment proactively impacts our emotional but also physiological well-being. The resident wanted the apartment to be cozy, spacious, and airy, and that there would be plenty of storage space. The original layout did not meet the set goals or the living standards of today, but fortunately it had potential: the partitions could be dismantled, and the kitchen and bathroom were well situated. 


An average budget doesn’t have to lead to an average outcome


Form and function can coexist. After planning the layout for the apartment, the atmospheric and functional goals were met with maximizing the amount of light in the apartment, minimalist colour palette, built-in furniture, and materials that reflect the architecture of the building. The intention was to bring in natural light in those areas of the apartment where the most time is spent. To support the incoming light, an app-controlled atmospheric lighting management system was installed. Cleverly integrated furniture keeps items off the floor and creates a feeling of spaciousness with the inviting wall-to-wall carpet encouraging the eye to take in the entire room uninterrupted.

Long-lasting and stress-free. The development of project costs and environmental sustainability of the entire process was monitored throughout the renovation. Long-lasting materials were chosen to add sustainability. The practically maintenance-free LED lighting system was used to increase energy efficiency and save energy costs. The work was carried out in cooperation with trusted subcontractor partners to ensure that every step of the process remained transparent, manageable, and on schedule.

Photos by Esa Kapila