People are sitting at the yard table and the dog is licking the child’s cheek

Lohja Service Community

Impressive and sustainable urban development in Lohja

The Hiidensalmi area near the centre of Lohja has received a new chapter to its story. The redundant industrial area was developed into a communal residential area with a beautiful lake landscape, where there are also services and recreational opportunities. Hiidensalmi served as the stage for the summer 2021 Housing Fair, and Hoivatilat was delighted to be involved in the planning of the area from the very beginning. 

Lohja Service Community

Client Pilke päiväkodit and Attendo

Tyyppi Service Community

Location Lohja

Number of children 54

Tenant count in nursing home 50

Completion time June 2021

Hoivatilat joined the Hiidensalmi development project by participating in a partnership application for a housing block organised in connection with the development of the town plan in 2018. Hoivatilat were selected as the development partner with a plan created together with UKI Arkkitehdit, and soon also TA-Yhtiöt and Lohjan Vuokra-asunnot Oy joined in.

Now the properties of these operators form the heart of Hiidensalmi: a genuinely communal and multigenerational partnership housing community. The service property of Hoivatilat has been implemented in accordance with the Service Community concept, and Pilke’s nature-oriented day care centre Ulappa and Attendo Home Hiidensalmi, which offers versatile care services and housing, operate in it. The property also has a restaurant open to all.

Mirka Härkönen, project manager of Lohja municipality and the Housing Fair, says that the Hoivatilat were very good at reaching their initial objectives, such as communal encounters and environmental friendliness, in the partnership application. They were systematically adhered to as the project progressed, and Härkönen says that when the parties have a common view of what is being pursued and the issues are actively communicated, the result is agreeable to all parties.

The Hiidensalmi town plan was drawn up in a partnership led by the Lohja municipality. In the traditional urban planning model, planning and implementation of the plan, i. e. construction, are separate, successive processes. In partnership planning, the parties jointly formulated principles, the practical implementation of which was refined at workshops and meetings.

– It was very rewarding to develop a new area in this way, with a large group and versatile expertise. It was not always easy, there were a lot of problems and complications involved, but I feel that no other way of planning would have produced such a great result, says Härkönen.

The Mayor of Lohja, Mika Sivula, also welcomes the development of Hiidensalmi and says that it will continue, for example, in the form of the construction of the second housing block.

– Fortunately, it is no longer thought that different groups of people are better off living apart. Instead, different generations live together and enrich each other’s lives. The Service Community concept is a great example of this, which we combined with an even broader partnership approach. We have a high-quality service offering early childhood education, care for our honorary citizens, rental housing and right-of-occupancy housing, says Sivula.

Early childhood education and care in parallel

In the Hoivatilat service community, everyday life is shared by Pilke’s nature-oriented day care centre Ulappa and the Attendo home Hiidensalmi, which offers 24-hour care.

Minna Martikainen, CEO of Pilke kindergartens, rejoices at the neighbourhood. She says it creates a very special dimension for the development cycle of human life. The kindergarten and nursing home cooperate a lot, taking into account the health and fitness of the residents of the nursing home and the Covid situation. There will be joint parties, crafts and other guided activities as well as outdoor activities. According to Martikainen’s experience, the elderly enjoy seeing children, sounds, common moments in general – sometimes things that seem quite commonplace can bring great joy. Children also rejoice in their time and activities together, and elderly people in better shape can, for example, offer extra arms to the children.

Anu Räikkönen, Regional Manager of Attendo’s services for the elderly, says that it is important for them that the elderly get to spend their personal time. With regard to the Attendo home in Lohja, she is particularly happy about the environment in which the nursing home is located.

– People live amidst others and see everyday life all the time, being a part of it. Just because you’re in a nursing environment doesn’t mean you have to be isolated. In particular, the communal yard and the kindergarten as a neighbour will certainly add spice to the lives of elderly people, says Räikkönen.

A setting for a good life

The winning partnership service community plan of Hoivatilat was called Kohtaamisia (Encounters). Amongst other factors that were accommodated in the planning was the routes people take, which should facilitate natural encounters. A light traffic route runs through the entire service community block area, next to it is a verdant park, Kaarnapuisto, and a square for a diverse range of activities opens out in front of the restaurant located in the Hoivatilat property. Apart from the service property’s own areas, there are no fenced or otherwise demarcated own plots in the service community block, but a genuinely communal, village-like courtyard. The design of the exceptional yard was a pilot site for sustainable environmental construction.

Olli Haapio, Project Development Manager for Hoivatilat, says the philosophy in the projects is to create a platform for happiness – for residents, their loved ones, those working in the area and other stakeholders. According to Haapio, the wheel hasn’t been reinvented, but the interest of Hoivatilat as a project developer is exceptionally broad-ranging, as the company will remain a long-term owner of the properties it has constructed.

– Our perspective is deeper and more multi-faceted than the design of a package to be built for sale. We are always thinking about what an area will be like in the future. We are often the first players in a new area, and we consciously take a risk as to whether the area will develop. It raises the stakes and has a positive impact on the quality of the entire project, Haapio says.