May 9, 2013

The secret of the Arch

At the moment, the renovation has officially stalled. All the hard work in the laundry room combined with the the staircase panel draw back has temporarily drained all the energy out of us. Therefore, now it is a good moment to do some brain work and take a moment to think about the next big move. 

Considering the season, we are quite certain the next project will be the upstairs atrium terrace, however at the same time we feel that we are tempted to kick of the downstairs challenge, wishing to take it back in time for about a century. Let's take a little peak down, so you understand a bit better what we are after. 

First, the staircase combining the two floors currently looks like a matchbox. Wood here, wood there - wood pretty much everywhere. To our taste, it is a bit too much and thus we want to get rid at least some of it. And no, this is actually not the original circular staircase. Somewhere along the way it has been changed to this what we have now. Considering the apartment's 1960's style - such a pity...

Do you prefer wood or wood?

Next, walking down the stairs the first thing one sees is a very unattractive, brown arch. This element has absolutely nothing to do with the pure 1960's modernist architecture prevalent in the apartment, and without a doubt it was build afterwards maybe during 1970´s by the previous owner. The wooden staircase, wooden ceiling, ornate doors, brown tiles, orange floor and distinct arch create an authentic 1970's atmosphere, which must have been groundbreaking a few decades after the apartment was originally build, but for us cherishing the 1960's spirit this chaos just needs to go.

The wonderful arc from top

When Pekka and Kaitsu (our trusted electrician) were working on the laundry room they had to bring new electricity cables from upstairs elecricity panel to downstairs to provide sufficient power for the washer and dryer. This was far from easy, and the only way to do it was to first try to locate the paths of the old cables in order to use their tubing for the new cables as well. And how do you do it? Well, you guess and drill a hole. And hope you hit the correct spot with the first five tries! While taking wild guesses, also the arch got hammered a bit as it was found to contained a cable path. Inside, we made quite an interesting discovery!

The secret of the Arc

What was discovered was an old newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, with the date (1.12.1979) matching perfectly with the colouring, materials and the style in the downstairs.

Valintatalo and Ajatar - after 30 years, still in business!

News from December 1979

So after this discovery, we feel even more justified to get rid most of the downstairs surface materials to be able to take it back to the 60's, just like we have done in the upstairs. Of course, the project "Downstairs" will not be limited with just updating the surfaces - not surprisingly, our plan is somewhat on the ambitious side, but fortunately, we are not in a rush. And rest assured, when we have a final decision, we will be glad to share the detailed plan with you!


  1. Remppaähky, tuttu tunne :) Meillä onneksi ( ... ) päätettiin tehdä taloyhtiön salaojaremontti syksyllä joten piha- / terassinrakennustöitä ei tarvitse tehdä eikä siten pohtia että miten sitä ajan ja energian jakaisi :)