Residential Complex in Kivelänranta
Jyväskylä, Finland

Design team: Dr Cristian Suau & Carmelo Zappulla
Clients: Jyväskylä City Hall
Publication: Finnish design media
Type: collective housing, timber dwellings, landscaping
Year: 2005
Budget: -
Building systems: timber frames, solid wood, metal truss, glazing cladding, timber decking & louvres, standard insolation
Landscape: green roof, grass field, timber/stone paving
Place: Kivelänranta, Jyväskylä suburb

Bands as Housing Frames
The main idea is the organized the housing programmes along bands that deal with the natural slope and also the protected ecosystems. Thus each band performs as the main urban/housing frame giving continuity and adaptability to the spatial features of the terrain. The system of bands draw has a snake-shape structure.

The Greenery as Spatial Organisers
Bands of row and block housing buildings recognise both the recreational network and the protected green areas and define green spots (like yards, quad or the like) that are the main public spaces. These green voids are the social catalisers as well and belongs to the major green system of recreational and natural zones. The bands are facing the magnificent panorama of the lake and are mostly oriented to the south to maximised solar gains. They are distributed along the hill; parallel to the existing walking/trekking pathway; and also in the central meadow where actually exists camping zone.

Spatial Idea
The design starts from two complementary approaches: on the one hand, from a subtractive logic and, on the one hand, an additive logic. One approach is plastic and natural and the other one is geometric and artificial.
This proposal treats the woody mass as matter of design. Through repetitive subtractions we mould a compact organic public space, which interplays with the regular geometry of the buildings. Instead of create a generic grid, the buildings are organised along bands, which respond to the contemplation of the landscape and the traces along the shoreline and land. The variety and adaptability of this residential community occur along the common thickness of bands that, even do they look random and heterogeneous, stimulate the unity of this complex and the sense of appropriation. Thus the main aim is both maximize the equation low-rise and high-density in the intervention area and also build a model of “a human-scale urban village” regardless the topographic and woody surrounding. It constitutes a catalyser of housing diversity because explores into another typological innovation. Several spatial arrays have been designed by keeping the following design parameters: row and block houses.

100% Nature
The location of this band makes it possible to keep the valuable vegetation of the site. The basic character of this place -forest in the north and parks blocks in the central site- remains. The inhabitants here are 100% living in contact with nature, by embracing yards and parks or experiencing the deep forest.

Download PDF Design Project


diagram of uses  

housing strategy - FAR games  

aerial view 1  

aerial view 2  

pathways along the lake's shore  

framing the lakescape  

sport pavilion: a polyvalent pier  

the hypermarket