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Authors: Emanuel Cerdeira

                Hanna Myöhanen

                Marcelo Diez

                Tristan P. Hughes


Type: Renovation / co-housing


Area: 1655m²


Location: Lautatarhankatu 2 C, Helsinki


Status: Project terminated


Year: 2013 - 2016



Margariinitehdas is a new co-ownership development project in the heart of Hermanni district in Helsinki. The now decaying industrial building from 1924 will be home for 19 new apartments ranging from 45 to 120m² in three floors. The building will be renovated to a point where the apartment units are in a raw-space condition, this will allow the new owners to design and build them in their own style, to their own requirements and at their own pace. The goal is to create cheaper, larger, better quality and more personal apartments than those that are currently available on the market.


Formerly an area dominated by warehouses and industrial services, the southern Hermanni is currently under going a huge transformation into a residential and mixed use area. The beautiful and charismatic building is the last part of this revitalisation process, the lot, formerly the State Margarine Factory (Valtion Margariinitehdas) standing literally on one of the last vacant lots in the

area. It has significant historical value as it clearly reflects the food processing heritage of the area. Turning Margariinitehdas into homes is a great opportunity to give it a new life and save it from dereliction, so that it can be enjoyed and treasured for years to come.


At the heart of the Margariinitehdas project will be providing building blocks for a more open and communal way of living. The project will have its own gardens, communal spaces, play areas and recreational and leisure facilities. It will also create an opportunity for shared activities, such as building together the gardens or organizing common meals. The project will be self sufficient and exemplary as it pioneers a new type of housing construction without any middlemen.


Leaving the space "Raw" is a type of construction that allows buyers to customise their apartment space in anyway they wish. The living space is purchased occupiable but the residents make it habitable by adding the detailing on top of the flexible, base main structures. The benefit to this is that there is a low/minimal upfront cost, and the process allows customisation and added value over time.


Co-ownership housing development is self initiated and organised housing construction lead by its respective occupants. These owners develop the project based solely on their own wishes and requirements. The benefits of this community driven construction process is that additional spaces and customised facilities can be created at minimal cost without any hidden margins.

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