To resolve these issues in this key part of the village, its external spaces have been redefined into new functional zones. This has been achieved by the introduction of a new underground car park, which has freed up space for the insertion of new infrastructure above, including a students’ services pavilion, housing blocks and sports areas. Re-establishing the visual presence of Rentukka and its function as a community centre entailed the careful redesign of the approach to the building. It is now served by a prominent landscaped promenade with different surface treatment from the adjacent square.
The previously unused courtyard at the rear is now activated by a new greenhouse pavilion containing a community kitchen, complemented by outdoor growing facilities. These interventions aim at enhancing the existing greenery whilst improving circulation with a new landscaped path, lined with seating arrangements, floor lighting and marking the way to further parts of the village and ultimately to the Rautpohja recreational zone.
A new housing cluster has been proposed to replace buildings designated for demolition by the client. The new blocks have their own court and are designed specifically for students with families, being sited in a slightly more removed location with proximity to the recreational Rautpohja zone.
Scale 3: Rentukka Student Community Building retrofit
The Rentukka community building, which forms the centrepiece of the historical core of the Kortepohja Student Village, is the subject of the most detailed level of all the interventions undertaken.
Rentukka operated as a vibrant social and cultural centre for the area throughout the decade following its opening in 1972. At the moment its aesthetic appearance, as well as functionality, suffers from its peculiar layout with a rigid grid of columns and numerous partition walls, which has created poorly lit and cramped spaces at all levels. The top floor, which at the peak of the building’s former life once served as a chic restaurant, is currently being used only on an extremely occasional basis for social events.