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The Student Housing Foundation in Vaasa | Apartment concept, optimal living space for students

“When that studio is your whole life, the worst thing that can happen is that the environment doesn’t meet your needs, and this can also mean that the aesthetic aspect of that space isn’t pleasing.”

– Student, Vaasa

The functional and visual concept of rental apartments was designed in collaboration with students and VOAS.

In material selection, durability and user-friendliness were essential. Among the visual styles, a favorite emerged: a sandy, neutral, and timeless combination of materials and furnishings that can be personalized with loose furniture and textiles.

Alternative visual concepts included a more rugged loft style and a calming forest theme. While these were also well-received, the neutral concept was deemed to cater more reliably to a wider range of students, regardless of interior preferences.

VOAS Materiaalikollaasi.


Concept | Interior Design


The Vaasa Student Housing Foundation (VOAS) actively collaborates with students to develop its apartments to better meet future needs. According to feedback from students, an increasing number of them prefer living in their own apartment rather than in shared accommodation. With the upcoming major renovation of the Vaasan Olympia II property, VOAS saw an opportunity to adapt the apartments to better suit students’ needs.

The decision was made to convert the existing two-bedroom apartments into studios to provide more students with the opportunity to rent their own accommodation. Simultaneously, VOAS aimed to establish an interior design concept to guide the renovation process, including material and equipment selections, to streamline future modifications in other properties. The goal was to create several alternative concepts for the studios that would be functional, enjoyable, and cost-effective to implement.

Above all, the aim was to create high-quality homes for students.


The functionality and visual concept of the studio apartments in the pilot project were developed collaboratively with VOAS, architect Kalle Viljanen, and students in an online workshop. The favorite among the visual concepts was “sand” – a timeless and neutral setting that allows for easy personalization with loose furniture and textiles. Paintings can be displayed using picture railings without nails. Attention was paid to the durability and suitability of materials – the home must withstand living and entertainment. In addition, VOAS procurement processes and material flows were optimized.

The functionality, or layout, of the studio apartments was also developed together down to the smallest details. Special attention was paid to the kitchen, toilet facilities, and storage spaces to make them as functional as possible despite the limited square footage. The design work for the apartments coincided with the coronavirus pandemic, allowing for adjustments to student life to be taken into account in the design of the studios. The most important features of the apartment were versatility and adaptability: the home is simultaneously a workspace and learning area, a place to socialize and cook together, a gym and yoga studio, and a space to simply be, sleep, and relax.

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