MUUAN | Suomenlinna Embrasures
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“What is new living like in the unique Suomenlinna where the beat of the metropolis combines with island isolation and living is both being on display and an escape from the city?”


CASE Suomenlinna Embrasures

‘Embrasures’ is an archaic, timeless building that complements the historical Suomenlinna scenery in an intriguing but unpretentious way. The building is situated parallel to the beach so that each apartment is provided with direct sunlight from the best directions and an amazing view of the opposite shore. The building’s location next to an existing road opens the beachfront not only to the residents of the building but also to visitors on the island. The two-story building does not block the view of the sea from behind but opens up to the landscape through the ground level and openings in its shape. The outdoor spaces between the apartments (verandas and roof terraces) are very sheltered, which better enables outdoor activities in the unpredictable marine climate.


In the apartments, most of the living spaces have been situated in the second floor. Only the entrances and necessary utility spaces as well as a large, open veranda are situated in the ground level. The glass veranda is safe under the building’s mass, and it creates a connection between the street and the beach. The veranda can be used for many different purposes, from throwing crayfish parties to disentangling fishing nets. It can just as well serve as a playroom or a laundry drying room. The veranda can be equipped with infrared heaters, which extends its season to last from early spring to late autumn. From the veranda, there’s access into the apartment and the storage space. The open-as-possible ground floor highlights the visual connection between the land and the sea and maintains the scenery characteristic of the area. The ground floor is a utility floor from where the stairs take to the actual living spaces.


The studio floor is a space that changes according to the lifestyles and needs of the residents. At its simplest, the floor has the staircase, kitchen and bathroom. By altering these basic components, the apartment can easily be adjusted. With light partition walls, bedrooms and walk-in closet can easily be rearranged according to the residents’ needs. The spaces on the studio floor form a series of space zones where one moves from the public recreational space through the kitchen and utility space to the private bedrooms. The distribution of space is natural and the openings support it. On the side of the studio floor, there’s a roof terrace enjoying both the sun and views to two directions.


Complementary construction plan (architectural design competition)




2 450 floor sqm


Helsinki, Finland


The Governing Body of Suomenlinna (competition organizer)


Tiina Antinoja, Olli Metso, Aleksi Rastas, Tuulikki Tanska, Hugo Lebrunet

building design, complementary construction, housing, wood construction