Apartments for international researchers

The University of Helsinki and the Aalto University to open common residence halls for visiting international researchers in August

Apartments for international researchers

The residence hall is being renovated in the former hall of residence tower blocks of the Hesperia Hospital in the Etu-Töölö district of Helsinki.

The renovation of the tower blocks, which are listed as architecturally significant, has progressed according to plans, says Juha Kurki, Property Manager for the University of Helsinki, who is overseeing the project.

“The towers were originally built as residence halls but have been used as office space since the 1980s. We have now returned them to their original use,” says Kurki.

The tower blocks built in 1952 are also much sturdier than they appear at first.

“The borders of the concrete elements visible on the surface of the buildings are in fact a decoration in line with the spirit of the time,” Kurki says.

“In a way, these are poor man’s version of an element house, which from a renovator’s point of view is much better than a genuine element house.”

The apartments are meant for the short-term accommodation needs of visiting researchers and lecturers. They are rented furnished and the average rental period is counted in weeks. The longest possible rental period is one academic term.

All in all, 177 apartments will be built in the two tower blocks. The majority of the apartments are studios or one-bedroom flats but there will also be 12 two-bedroom flats and two larger apartments. A common dining room will also be constructed in one of the buildings, where the tenants will be served breakfast.

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Text: Juha Merimaa
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

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