Marco Casagrande pokes cityscape with a stick
Architect Marco Casagrande wishes to challenge the city’s use of space. The micro apartment building Tikku (“stick”), designed by Casagrande, was erected on Keskuskatu for the duration of the Helsinki Design Week.
What inspired you to design a wooden apartment building the size of a parking space?
I had been brewing up the idea while co-operating with the Kuhmo-based Woodpolis organisation and studying the opportunities of the construction material CLT. It has all the elements required to revolutionise industrial construction towards a more natural direction.
Helsinki is full of parking spaces, and “plots” of that size can be found in cities around the world. Tikku is also extremely versatile.
Is urban planning in need of reform?
The current city space is sized for cars, not people. Tikku can act as a type of element humanising the scale between the current buildings and roads. It would be great to see these spring up like mushrooms on parking spaces, roofs of supermarkets and parking lots. When the dominance of cars is reduced in the city space, the network of Tikku buildings can expand.
Will the changing spatial needs of the future be increasingly solved through temporary structures?
Why not. The nomadic lifestyle is often quite strong in people. The static city was created on the basis of the doctrine of agriculture. Structures such as Tikku produce shelters needed by urban nomads, creating a new layer on top of the static city.
Will the concept of buildings as large and everlasting structures prevail?
Traditionally, buildings are symbols of wealth and ownership, almost as if they were little kingdoms. However, there are cracks in everything, and it’s these cracks that Tikku takes root in like a positive, architectural weed. In the city, you’re surrounded by all the services: saunas, launderettes, libraries, cafés, hobby facilities. Tikku has been spared these. An urban nomad finds the shelter and privacy they need in Tikku, but the rest of the services are available in the surrounding city.