The Tervahovi Silos

Landmark mid-century cylindrical grain silos transformed into contemporary residential apartments
Story by: Trends
The Tervahovi Silos / PAVE Architects architecture, ceiling, daylighting, interior design, gray
The Tervahovi Silos / PAVE Architects

Architect: PAVE Architects Ltd

About the project (text supplied): A whole new life was given to the area of Toppilansalmi in Oulu, Finland as the mid-century cylindrical grain silos, the landmark structure of the area, was transformed into a contemporary residential building.

The nature of the project changed early on as most of the old structures had to be dismantled due to their poor condition. As stipulated by the town plan, as much of the original outer silo aesthetic as possible was recreated. This reimagining allowed for a vast variety of layouts within; from smart one-bedroom flats to neolofts up to three level lofts can be found within the building with a total of 95 apartments.

The round silo structures were utilised as varyingly sized balcony zones. The balcony openings are enhanced with metal trelliswork that maintain the round shape of the silos while providing sufficient privacy. The trelliswork blocks part of the direct sunlight yet is still sparse enough to let light pass and allow views through to the landscape. Together with varying zones of glazed and open, low and full-height, the balconies are vastly multifunctional, true extensions of the apartments.


The Tervahovi Silos / PAVE Architects gray, black
The Tervahovi Silos / PAVE Architects

A mainly rectangular dark extension expands the silo structure naturally within the reimagined plot. At the top, a joint use sauna and roof terrace can be found. The extension’s contemporary facade was executed with reflective black and grey facade glass with subtle coloured jetties providing structure and relating to the elements of the courtyard.

The courtyard offers intriguing views inside the structure and its colourful fire escape and refined, contrasting materials around create a truly memorable space. Here, the dialogue of the building masses representative of three different eras is in full display.

The first two floors out of thirteen consist of neo-lofts with galleries, with spacious, five-meter-high open living spaces. The galleries were designed efficient and practical, and are mainly in bedroom use. This allowed for the top seven floor apartments to have open height of 3,2 meters.

Throughout the building, the large sweeping expanses of windows allow plenty of light to enter the apartments. As the glass starts from the floor level, the floors receive most of the light and reflect it further into the structure. The windows and glazed surfaces were designed in close cooperation with a manufacturer with similar interests to create some- thing new and unique allowing as unobstructed views as possible yet practicality throughout.

The Tervahovi Silos / PAVE Architects apartment, architecture, building, city, cityscape, commercial building, condominium, corporate headquarters, facade, headquarters, hotel, metropolis, metropolitan area, mixed use, night, real estate, residential area, sky, skyscraper, tower, tower block, urban area, blue, black
The Tervahovi Silos / PAVE Architects

In keeping with the original industrial atmosphere of the area, the raw, in-situ cast concrete surfaces are a vivid element throughout the interior of the building. The corridors’ industrial design combined with contemporary solutions and materials creates a unique, hotel-like feel.

The possibility of purchasing an apartment in a semi-finished state proved also popular. This gave the owners greater freedom in defining the final layout, fixtures and finishes of their new home.

The Tervahovi Silos stand as a fine example of smart reimagining of an area of cultural importance without losing its core character. In a broader perspective, the solutions keep the history, the architecture, alive and interesting while providing an intriguing vision for a way to develop more satisfying architecture in the future.

Feb 26, 2018





Similar stories

Mixed use developments: Achieving the right balance

Dalkeith on Waratah is a new mixed use development which blends townhouse living with apartment accessibility Read more

New 69-storey tower in Melbourne is a twisting helix

This design for a new skyscraper on the northern edge of Melbourne's CBD seems to defy the laws of physics Read more

This renovation celebrates the charm of the original historic interior paint choices were key

A variety of Resene paints and finishes highlight the original architectural detailing on this luxury penthouse apartment Read more

Latest books

Commercial Design Trends Vol 34/02C

Whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure, your hotel experience can either make or break your trip. Our market report in this issue looks at the changing world of hotel design – from five star establ... Read more

Home Trends 3403

The design of our homes – new or renovated – should be an individualistic response to our lifestyle, family set-up and budget. But there are also common requirements we should all aim for – a balance of public and private space... Read more

Home Trends 3401

If you're designing a bathroom for a new home or renovating your existing one, you'll quickly discover how involved the process can be.It's not only the challenge of how to fit the different functional zones into the often limi... Read more

Related profiles

The Circle Property Group

Our architecturally designed building is home to Trends Media Group along with many other industry leading tenants. Read more


Since 1946, Resene has forged a reputation of excellence and quality in manufacturing products designed to meet the demanding standards of architectural and building industry professionals and homeowners. Read more