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

Malminkartano Service Community

Diverse housing, services and jobs in Malminkartano

Hoivatilat constructs a service community in Malminkartano, Helsinki, which will be the most comprehensive in Finland in terms of its versatility. The quarter will provide services and homes for children, the elderly, the intellectually disabled or people in need of help and support for other reasons.

Malminkartano Service Community

Client Norlandia Care, Norlandia Päiväkodit and Kehitysvammaisten Palvelusäätiö & KVPS Tukena Oy

Tyyppi Service Community

Location Helsinki

Vacancy count 50 children

Tenant count Nursing home: Enhanced service housing 66, service housing 42. Housing for disabled: 26 homes.

Completion time Autumn 2022

The service community project of Hoivatilat in Helsinki was initiated in autumn 2018. The Rehabilitation Foundation owned a large, rundown office property in Malminkartano, Helsinki. The Foundation wanted to focus more strongly on the implementation of its basic task and therefore abandon the large property in serious need of renovation. That combined with the service community concept and regional development expertise of Hoivatilat led to the transfer of the property in April 2020. It was agreed that the Hoivatilat would demolish the property that had become a burden and build a service community in its place.

It was clear that such a good location was perfectly suited to a service community for people of different ages and life situations. Norlandia Care Oy also joined the project, and with it the plans became more specific: the quarter will offer solutions for intensified and lighter residential care for the elderly, early childhood education services and a day care centre for dogs. The service offer was also supplemented by the Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability and residential care for the developmentally disabled.

A cosy and sheltered courtyard is formed for the service properties, which, in addition to each unit’s own secure fenced area, includes a sensory garden and places for sojourning. This invigorating “little paradise” fits perfectly into the urban but verdant environment of the Malminkartano district, whose values have been taken into account in the architectural design of the site’s buildings.

There will be several common use areas in the service community: a room that can be reserved, for example, for a resident’s foot care or massage, an accessible gym with HUR equipment, a sauna and its own small spa, as well as several group rooms where you can, for example, hold treatment meetings or do puzzles. The total floor area of the project is 7 000 m2.

High-quality housing and care service from Norlandia 

Norlandia brings versatile services to the service community in accordance with its Together concept: day care centre, nursing home and residential care. The themes and functions will be deepened; both the dog day care centre and the restaurant operations have been reviewed on the planning table. A similar entity can already be found in Tuusula, also a joint project of Hoivatilat and Norlandia.  Graziella Vartola, Country Director of Norlandia Care, is delighted with the increased diversity of housing and the possibility of implementing meaningful communal activities for various parties soon also in Helsinki.

The housing and care services of Norlandia cover 66 places of residential care for senior citizens and 42 apartments with reduced service needs, and there will be 50 children frolicking in the day care centre. Mira Ruusunen, Director of the Care Unit, has been responsible for planning the care of the site at Norlandia. Starting from the floor plan, she has taken a stand on how to take the needs of the elderly into account as well as possible and how to bring a sense of community into the everyday lives of residents. Ruusunen is already happy about how natural everyday sharing will become when different services and user groups have been taken into account from the very beginning.

– The Malminkartano site could be called an old-time village centre: there you will find everything you need for people of different ages, a lot of different elements of good everyday life, and there you will be truly together, Ruusunen describes.

The Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability offers long-term homes

One part of the whole will be KVPS home Tähtiomena, a housing service unit for the mentally handicapped or people in need of help and support for other reasons. The Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability will rent the premises from Hoivatilat, and the services in the unit will be provided by KVPS Tukena Oy, a social enterprise wholly owned by the Service Foundation. The Tukena Tähtiomena offers an own home and services that meet individual assistance and support needs for a total of 26 people.

KVPS had a few ideas about expanding its operations to Helsinki, either by building itself or with a partner. Hoivatilat was selected as a partner and the rental model was chosen as the method of implementation. All the properties of Hoivatilat are designed together with the customer, as is KVPS-Tähtiomena.  Aarne Rajalahti, Deputy Managing Director of the Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability, and Jere Metsähonkala, Deputy Managing Director of Tukena Oy, have been actively involved in the Malminkartano project from the beginning and at all stages, right up to site meetings.

Thus, the design was able to benefit from the Service Foundation’s thirty years of experience in residential care for mentally handicapped people: both the designers and the contractor’s staff have received expert clarifications as the project progresses. By combining the experience of Hoivatilat and ready-made efficient solutions with the customer’s expertise and wishes, a versatile outcome genuinely fulfilling the needs is ensured.  Aarne Rajalahti says that, for example, the floor plan was considered very carefully. It was reviewed and refined several times to allow different styles of living in home units. Attention was also paid to material choices, accessibility and safety. Rajalahti reminds that the need for residential care is often long-lasting.

We make homes for up to decades, for example, for young adults. Thus, the promotion of both comfort and endurance has been carefully thought out with the designers. We have gone through a wide range of and also detailed issues as the planning progresses.

Jere Metsähonkala adds that it is also important that an individual’s living in a group-form unit is implemented as well as possible in a way that suits each resident and in a suitable environment. Thus, the design highlighted, for example, the effects of the need for individual support and assistance on housing-specific equipment, such as various utilities and lifting solutions.

KVPS home Tähtiomena will have modern, comfortable and accessible homes. The 28-square-metre apartments have their own kitchen-living room and bathroom. The service homes are located in four home groups, which include living rooms and communal kitchens in addition to the dwellings. They enable communal encounters, for example, for dining or chatting. Storage facilities and the service provider’s premises are also located on both floors.

– Customer needs were investigated with the Helsinki municipality’s services for disabled persons, and there is need and demand for housing. It feels good to start implementing our first permanent housing service unit in the capital with a familiar partner and as part of a larger entity, Rajalahti sums up.

Urban development and customer needs in focus

Project Development Manager Olli Haapio is responsible for the Malminkartano project at Hoivatilat. He raises his hat to the Rehabilitation Foundation, which owned the rundown office property in place of which the service community is being built. A rather typical solution would have been to plan housing for the place, but that was not on the horizon now, so the Rehabilitation Foundation boldly set out to find an alternative solution to the situation.

This is by far the largest project ever undertaken by Hoivatilat, and there is no other equally versatile service property in Finland. Haapio says that the starting point of the project is not very typical, because instead of the town planning process, it utilised the current plan.

Our communal concept responds to the challenges of social segregation. People do not have to live apart from others according to the type of services they need. The urban area is surrounded by life, and good public transport connections make it easier for loved ones to visit.

Even though the process has taken time and there have been surprises along the way, Haapio says that things have just come together: the operators had a strong need for new premises in the area and the Helsinki municipality gave an important opportunity to the private sector in the area, with the first priority being to serve the city dwellers as well as possible. The project responds in many ways to trends in urban development, and, of course, it also provides a significant amount of employment.

Haapio explains that Hoivatilat is much more than the property’s developer and owner. The company employs, for example, professionals in the social and health care sector, as well as persons experienced in the business field and analysts, in order to ensure the comprehensiveness of the service.

– We always examine together what kind of building to build in a place and what things our customers need to know about the area. We offer high-quality facilities as a service with comprehensive maintenance, always from the customer perspective and not only from the perspective of owning walls, Haapio sums up the policy of Hoivatilat.