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The size of a single parking space, micro apartment building Tikku takes a stand on the cities of the future

Designed by architect Marco Casagrande, the installation for Helsinki Design Week adds its input to the discussion on urban planning and other discourses. On the second floor of the miniature apartment building, Sponda is building a work space for professionals from different fields.

On 7 September, the opening day of Helsinki Design Week, a three-storey micro apartment building called Tikku, the size of a single parking space, will be erected in Keskuskatu. On the second floor of the building, Sponda plans to build an office space. Professionals from different fields have been given the opportunity to book a desk for a couple of hours over the course of the week and a half during which Tikku will be in Keskuskatu.

Made out of CLT solid wood structure, Tikku was designed by architect Marco Casagrande and built in Woodpolis, Kuhmo. According to Casagrande, the idea was a slow burner, originating from his cooperation with the operators in Kuhmo.

”Helsinki is full of parking spaces, and cities around the world have ‘plots’ the same size as this. Therefore, Tikku can basically be set up anywhere. It also allows an incredible amount of variation,” says Casagrande.

The Tikku installation adds its input to the discussion on urban planning and other discourses. As cities grow increasingly condensed, it is important to find more agile forms of construction and spatial solutions.

”The current city space is designed for cars, not people. Tikku can act as a type of element humanising the scale between the current buildings and roads. It would be nice to see these growing in abundance on parking lots or, for instance, on the rooftops of supermarkets. Tikku doesn’t necessarily have to obstruct the original parking space either; it can be erected over the vehicle,” says Casagrande.

Study on the city of the future

According to Casagrande, the changing spatial needs of cities could, in future, be solved with quickly constructed, temporary facilities such as Tikku.

”People have quite strong nomadic tendencies. The static city was created around the requirements of agriculture. Structures such as Tikku offer the necessary shelter for city dwellers in a changing environment, creating a new layer on top of the static city,” he says.

The utilities in Tikku are quite simplified. The building to be erected in Keskuskatu will not have running water, for example.

Marco Casagrande.

“In the city, you have all the services around you; saunas, launderettes, libraries, restaurants, cafés, hobbies, etc. It was not necessary to stuff Tikku full of them. Tikku offers the urban nomad the shelter and privacy they need, but the rest of the services can be found in the surrounding city,” explains Casagrande.  

”The biological ability of a human is so inadequate that we need structural protection. This protection is the key to architecture and this is what Tikku attempts to approach and examine in urban conditions.”

The future is built through cooperation

With its centrally located properties, Sponda is vitally involved in urban development and wants to do its part in making city centres livelier. Taking part in the Tikku installation is a great example of different operators working together to create something new for the amusement and benefit of the city dwellers.

”We also want to be involved in examining the working life of the future and the spatial needs and solutions it may bring,” says Anita Riikonen, Brand and Marketing Manager at Sponda.

Companies’ needs for temporary facilities will likely not reduce as work is fragmented into smaller and smaller projects and micro-entrepreneurism increases. One idea is that, in the future, the working place could expand from the office building to temporary extensions according to need.

The opening day of the Tikku installation on 7 September will also see the launch of the Sponda Legends campaign, opening doors to high-value properties owned by Sponda and dating back more than a century.

Learn more about Tikku on the Helsinki Design Week website.

Published 4.9.2017