February 15, 2017


In 2009, after 103 years of operation, the city of Porvoo closed down Svartså School. We, a team of architects, were impressed by the beautiful environment of Svartså, and proposed the city of Porvoo to create a new co-housing project.

Before an individual investor takes over this wonderful place and either destroys it’s Architectural Heritage, or leaves it empty for most of the time, we proposed the city of Porvoo to make a new project based on:

Co-housing allows the new inhabitants to have a fully normal apartment, with kitchen and bathroom, etc, but there will be bigger rooms for communal use and even for small business purposes of the inhabitants. This includes:
– A workshop room
– Industrial Kitchen
– Ball room
– Entrance Foyer to the ball room with handicapped able toilets
– Sauna
– Tennis court
– Parking area
– etc

The process matters, every inhabitant will define the rules of the shared spaces. We believe diversity is resilience. Diverse systems are more adaptable to changes. A community supports each other. Yet privacy is fundamental, every inhabitant is totally independent and can choose not to interact with the community.

If you have read this text till here, congrats, as the trend has been that we are going deeper into a society based on lack of patience! We know better movie stars from TV than our neighbors! But thehe star won’t help you in case of need! We need to rethink the way we live with each other. Read this informative article on the age of loneliness.

The buildings have high ceilings. We will thus create lofts to fit several floors and add more living space and natural light. It should be open, airy and modular to allow changes in the planning and in the future. High quality and modern, but not expensive and flashy.

Remember that dwelling units are smaller in Helsinki than in other parts of Finland, with an average floor area of 34 square metres per person (more here).

The best reassurance that the design is the best possible, is that the senior architects of this project will move in to it too, but leaving open which apartment to be chosen. A design principle we defend: the designer should use its design!

We do not make houses to make architects happy, we make them to make people happy.

We are also working with local vocational schools, giving students the opportunity to practice in the study of how to make genuine craftsmanship in an old log house and what it means to be living in a community.

Further ideas will include:
– Rain water collection
– Garbage disposal as a resource by using composting
– Geothermal and solar local energy sources
– Principles of local governance
– Car sharing

We are calling out for new residents who would be involved in the planning from the very beginning, if they wish so. This will improve the quality of the space and, as there are no investor’s speculation, the price per square meter decreases.

Meet us face to face, its healthier! 🙂

You can read further on our blog


Pedro Aibéo

Project Coordinator
An architect and Civil Engineer, who initiated this project in 2015, based also on his research of Architectural Democracy.

Antti Saravuo

The man behind Visiomo, an experienced Architect who took the challenge in May 2015.

Natalie Stratakis

Design Architect
The woman behind Visiomo, an experienced Architect who took the challenge in May 2015.

Tuomo Pulkkinen

3d Designer
An Architectural Student with an eye for 3D visualizations.

Momal Mushtaq

Digital Media
Not only for web stuff, but a top social activist.


Jessie Cat Kelley

A great help in finding people to work with us.

Marcelo Diez

He initiated a similar project before, the margariinitehdas, and has been a vital help.

Mikael Långström

Digital Business Specialist
Plenty of experience in cooperative and cohousing, what a help!