Senaatti-kiinteistöt, Puolustusvoimat

“Viking” barracks provide comfort, effective use of space, and more meaningful functionality

Workspace teamed up with Senate Properties to create a new space concept for the Finnish Defence Forces. Upinniemi was the first to use the new spaces.

The user-based space concept began with an extensive survey. Meanwhile, a tool was created to calculate the needs of a space by simply entering the number of staff and conscripts. The concept’s functionality was validated widely using various experts and simulations, and by involving Finnish Defence Forces staff and conscripts in the conceptualisation process.

Right from the start, conceptualisation work was steered by the thought of a “Viking” barracks.

“The social features of Viking barracks – that is, bringing everyone together in the same space, placing shared activities in the centre of the space and leaving the edges for free and independent work – are still functional design premises for barracks today,” says interior architect Martta Suurpää from Workspace, explaining the background of the concept.

“We are very familiar with these design premises thanks to our experience of over one thousand projects involving space requirements for modern working methods. Thanks to our excellent partners’ expertise, in this project we were able to simulate weekly programmes for 800 different garrisons, analyse logistics flows through the spaces, and ensure that design guarantees the flexibility a versatile space provides. The same space can be used for studying, socialising, and resting, says Workspace’s workplace development consultant Pasi Kaitila, who headed the conceptualisation work.

Space concepts usually cover physical, virtual and social aspects. In these spaces, we primarily focused on three different levels: how the garrison as a whole functions and where those functions are located, how much a building needs each space, and how an individual space functions.

The concept supports and standardises the prior design of individual sites. The concept will first be applied at Upinniemi.

The new space concept has been discussed widely in the Finnish media, please see here for links.

Senate: Garrisons are getting a makeover – what will daily life for conscripts be like in the future?

Yle News: Defence Forces unveil garrisons of the future – this is what new garrisons will look like

In the future, conscripts will stay in “Viking barracks” – How the Finnish Defence Forces is decorating its barracks in the future

See pictures and a video: The Finnish Defence Forces are completely overhauling their barracks – these are the new, bright barracks of the future

More information is available from Workspace:

Pasi Kaitila, +358 (0)50 305 5821
Tarja Paanola, +358 (0)50 376 1269

Workspace brought not only its own expertise to the project, but also that of its partners Delfoi (Vesa Paju) and Melkior (Juha Eskelinen).