Made in Aalto: A studio in the garden

While the world’s metropolitans are growing, the demand for small apartments will increase in the future. In Finland, almost three out of four households contain only one or two people.

Rather than traditional high-rise solutions, such as huge tower blocks, Olli Enne has developed a new, innovative solution called Yksiö puutarhassa: a house that is easy to build and can even be placed in your own backyard.

Yksiö puutarhassa (a studio in the garden) is the master’s thesis work of Enne, a student at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, which includes all the pros of living in a detached house, all the peace and tranquillity, but in a smaller structure. These two-storied, 49-square-metre timbered houses can be industrially produced and built on one of the thousands of the unused plots in Helsinki metropolitan area. This ecological solution utilizes the existing infrastructure and compresses the structure of the city.

The design of the house is simple but the stairs, terrace and kitchen can be modelled to the inhabitants’ liking. “There are ready-made industrial solutions available or alternatively, skilled people can build these elements from recycled materials”, Enne hints. He sees huge potential in small houses - Yksiö puutarhassa could be an ecologic home for millions around the world. In Finland, these kinds of single-family houses breed new forms of urban life and make it possible to have both, a block restaurant with a backyard and a small patch, even in the city.

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Photo: Marko Laukkarinen