Competition 1st prize 2010


Helsinki, Finland


Design state


4670 sqm


Helsinki Deaconess Institute


Rafael Housing for Homeless

Rafael provides assisted living for homeless. It will complete the composition of the neighbourhood with new adjacent building. The new building will be adjusted on the scale and materials of the respected old hospital area. It bends to protect its inhabitants. The form reminds wings of a guardian angel, thus the house is called Rafael.

The courtyard in the middle is the corn place for all dwellers.  Side corridors on the floors go around the corn space. The main entry is through the courtyard. Warm and archaic masonry walls with quadrate openings emphasize the special and tender nature of the space. Rough surfaces of the inner courtyard are in contradiction to the circumference of the house that is plastered and painted white. Arrangement of two conversing gables forming a gate of the house is a modern application of ridge roofs used in the area.

First floor consists spaces for services, common functions, storages and staff. Homes are located on three floors facing outwards. Each apartment consists of a lobby, kitchen, washroom, storage, bed, living space and a bay window. Small apartments could be merged together into larger apartments. Also the usage of the house could alter within time. In the future the house could facilitate elderly citizens or maybe operate as a hotel. The solution is supposed to be at the same time secure and cosy, economic and unobstructed as well as effective and human.