helsinki cover.jpg

House in Helsinki

house in helsinki

a narrow room


Project Type_Private Residence

Size_120 sqm
School_Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio

The project transforms the unique and fictional world of film into
real architectural space while using the conventions of both cinema and architecture. We were asked to capture a scene from a movie (‘OFFRET’ by Andrei Tarkovsky ), which portraits a very specific phenomenal quality of the architectural space in the film. The main aim of the project is to translate the phenomenal qualities of a fictional space into a built environment.


The site is located in suburban Helsinki and adjacent to Alvar Aalto’s famous studio. The neighborhood is dominated by residential buildings with big yards. The house is a simple wooden house that is surrounded by trees and a very low stone wall. Its long and narrow plan allows more daylight to come in throughout the year in Helsinki, where the daylight is mostly diffused and limited.



The project reveals itself in the sectional change of floors. It delicately steps down on the site and creates a beautiful and simple relationship with the ground, and the roof, which also slopes down as a one continuous canopy above the house. The rooms are separated by the sectional change of floors rather than walls. Each room is accessible by couple steps from below or above of the adjacent space. The height of each room is based on the privacy of the rest of the spaces in the house. A person that is in the living room would have no visual access to the more private parts of the house.



We can also consider a room as a membrane for living that can inhabit many activities. It has a potential to be penetrated by its inhabitant due to the nature of human activity. Permeability of the space is the architectural concept for this particular project. The room manifests itself as permeable mass for the human activity. It has two doors at two opposite sides of the room that open up to the garden and allows you to be inside and outside simultaneously. Two horizontal windows at the two ends of the room create an axis of permeability for the space at the street level. The play between inner space and outer space are in delicate balance and harmony in the embodied space..




There is no interior walls in the house, except the bathroom and sauna. All the rooms in the house share the same long and narrow space to create a one unified sense of brightness and interiority. Rooms are organized based on the need for privacy. You enter the house through the kitchen, which is between the main living room and family room. Two bedrooms are separated from each other by the bathroom and sauna. There is also a curtain between the family room and kids bedroom to separate those both visually and physically.

Living Room_Physical Model


It is evident that phenomenological perception has such a power on human memory. The way spaces feel, sound and smell recalls all the old memories and yet create new ones. A room in a house condenses the time with a realization of subconscious mind through our memories in the embodied space. The thoughtful selection of materials,furniture and color evoke our perception and create a very specific atmosphere and experience.

Furniture Selection

Furniture Selection

Living Room_Physical Model

1/100 Physical Model

1/100 Physical Model