Drawing out everyday expertise; Expanded role of architect in renovation of apartment buildings

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Ask about the availability of the thesis by sending email to the Aalto University Learning Centre oppimiskeskus@aalto.fi
Arkkitehtuuri II
Degree programme
Facilitating the involvement of residents in a collaborative design process and providing spatial flexibility are means architectural design can improve housing by better meeting diverse, changing and individual needs. As half of all housing construction in Finland is now renovation rather than new-build, this thesis aims to fill the current research gap on integrating those improvement strategies into existing housing. The architect's role in the context of necessary technical renovation of apartment buildings is explored through a literature review and a case study, which involves envisioning the future development of the shared spaces, defined as spaces - beyond the private apartment, of a rental apartment building complex in Kontula, Helsinki built in 1965. Methods for drawing out resident expertise and generating meaningful discussion with residents are investigated. The study asks how this additional input can go towards better design proposals. A time-line visualising the social life and physical alterations of the shared spaces over time is used as a tool, along with sketch proposals, during an open doors event aimed at collaboratively envisioning the future development of the shared spaces with residents. This feeds into architectural sketch design proposals. The case study shows that residents have valuable input that can go unexpressed, emphasises the importance of providing sketch, proposals as a reference for residents and shows that the time-line tool can be used as a tool for I encouraging longer term thinking. The case study shows that facilitating an informal event over a number of days can stimulate new ideas, can help towards quieter voices being heard, and lead to more robust proposals. Studying the building over time is ways of understanding which spaces are flexible and why, enabling this quality to be strengthened in future proposals. The expanded role of an architect proposed by this thesis is to draw out user knowledge of an apartment building during an extended version of the resident survey, which could feed into design proposals. As the resident survey along with the technical building survey act as the basis for renovation planning of a building, it could be a means for an architect to ensure the social is I embedded in all decision making regarding the renovation of apartment buildings.
Huttunen, Hannu
Thesis advisor
Soini, Katja
participatory design, renovation, housing design, flexibility, 1960s era housing, shared spaces, collaborative design
Other note