The Tähkä-talo building was renovated innovatively in a way that manages to respect the building’s original spirit and preserve its builders’ vision.

The building is located in Kauppatie road in the old centre of Ilomantsi. A 1950s village milieu, a wooden town, has survived along this road.

Tähkätalo was built by the Pohjois-Karjalan Osuusliike cooperative. The shop, which was built on the basis of standard project drawings and in the spirit of functionalist architecture, was opened in 1939. The building was originally used to accommodate a shop and a café, with a hostel upstairs.

We received ownership of the building in 2003 and decided to renovate it, converting it to apartments and office.

All materials that were not working well for an old wooden building were removed and technical equipment was replaced. In addition to the old sawdust insulation, we used blow-in cellulose wool. The façade cladding was replaced, where necessary, with horizontal boards similar to those used originally.

The materials were carefully chosen. Double wood-fibre boards were used for insulating the building on the inside. The boards were then wallpapered. In addition interior materials include pine plywood on walls and floor, surplus finewood boards from a parquet factory on the floors, and parquet surface slat in the undulating and cross-woven ceiling.

The furnishings were chosen in a way that adds to the house’s functionalist spirit. Almost all furnishings are recycled Finnish classics. An ecological feature was the use of recycled materials and local suppliers and builders.

Upstairs forms a loft apartment. The rooms facing Kauppatie road have been opened up into a single space. The room division of the old hostel was kept on the side of the building that faces the back.

Downstairs houses our architecture and design office, and there are plans to open a gallery café on the ground floor.

This revived building received new residents in spring 2006. It was chosen as the regional building project for North Karelia in 2008.

Project in brief
Location: 
Ilomantsi
Size: 
690 m2