Gresantie 1–5

Location: Kauniainen Type of assignment: Site planning Orderer: Stiftelsen Bensows Barnhem Granhyddan ry Timing: 2019 Scope: 50593 m2 Architects: K. Fr. Lindman, A. R. Gauffin, E. von Ungern-Sternberg Year of completion: 1908-1987

Situated amidst the old summer villas of Kauniainen  are two culturally significant villas, both around a hundred years old, Villa Bensow and Villa Solhaga, a daycare centre, an orphanage and three utility buildings. The foundation this group of buildings belongs to was interested in developing the property in order to better serve them in their work to support families with children.

A part of the site was to be separated from the rest and to be used as future housing blocks. For the rest of the property solutions were sought out that would fit in with the site’s current use.

All new buildings on the site must fit in with its old surroundings including the landscape and the cultural history of the property. The old villas will be reserved as the focal points of the site. New structures will not be built too close to them. The old gardens designed by landscape architect Paul Olsson will be preserved with no new structures being built on them and with possible measures of restoring some of its original characteristics and design elements.

Buildings used by the foundation will be located near the northern edge of the site and near Villa Solhaga. The northern buildings will mainly serve as workshops and utility buildings, there will also be one flat for the staff. Near the Villa Solhaga a new daycare centre and rooms for courses and other activities will be built. These new structures will leave room for the older ones while also highlighting them. The new buildings will have their own hierarchy visualised in specific characteristics of the more public oriented buildings.

The residential buildings will be located near the eastern border of the site. Their scale, materials and colours will be adapted to the existing structures. The housing blocks will create their own distinct unit on the site with a clear and modern identity. All new buildings will be designed to be built according to principles of sustainability and ecological methods of construction will be recommended.

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