Better Living Environment Today, More Adaptable Tomorrow?
Comparative Analysis of Finnish Apartment Buildings and their Adaptable Scenarios
In Finland, maximising urban land value has often resulted in urban housing with increased efficiency. This study highlights how increased building efficiency can lead to reduced living environment quality, manifesting in for example deep plan plans with limited opportunities for dwellers to adapt spaces to meet their changing needs over time. Within the Finnish urban housing context, this study evaluates the adaptation potential of two case study apartment buildings, with seven apartments studied in more detail. These cases represent a broader set of housing cases finished in 2019 or planned to be constructed in 2020–2022 in Finland's largest urban areas. Illustrated by comparative building and apartment plans, the findings indicate that the selected cases generally lack much capacity to accommodate change, but this can be improved with fairly simple spatial modifications with the same apartment number and size. It was also highlighted that in some cases there may be broader implications for the land use, and the city plan. The implications of the findings draw out a discussion about the inter-relationship between housing adaptability, dwelling quality and apartment type, building typology and urban housing block design at the city plan level.