Kortepohja Student Village awarded with ARA’s Square Metres of the Year 2023 Award

Press release, free for publishing 19.1.2023 at 15:00 

The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) has awarded its renowned Square Metres of the Year 2023 Award to the renovation and regional development project of the Kortepohja Student Village of the Student Union JYY. Kortepohja Student Village is managed and developed by Soihtu, business unit of JYY. 

ARA’s Square Metres of the Year 2023 Award criteria give praise to Kortepohja. The innovative improvement of Kortepohja student village, is considered an exceptional success story, also commendably fulfilling the goals of the circular economy. The thorough renovation of the tower blocks A-E and the Rentukka building as well as the development of the area carried out by Soihtu between 2017 and 2022 have been seen as a successful example of conservation and renewing improvement. In addition to funding from ARA, the renovation of Kortepohja student village has received Green Bond funding from MuniFin. 

The renovation of the Kortepohja Student Village serves the entire district 

The idea of JYY’s project has been to preserve the identity of the Kortepohja area enriching it with new development, new residents and services. The comprehensive renovation of the apartments and the solution to move the communal facilities to the core of the area, Rentukka building, have been the backbone of the entire renovation. This serves all residents in the district. 

Protected tower blocks at the heart of the change 

The most famous houses in the southern area of Kortepohja student village are the five almost identical 9-storey buildings, known by the letters A-E. These buildings, also known as Tower blocks (‘Tornitalot’) and the original central building Rentukka have their facades protected in the city plan as a whole. The renovated apartments in the tower blocks are studios, the size of which varies between 16.5 and 27 m2. The number of apartments in the buildings increased in the 2017–2022 renovation carried out with the support of ARA and now totals at 727. 

“The big evolvement has been prepared as an entirety, but the actual work has been done one project at a time. The positive cycle started has been gaining momentum, bringing students back to Kortepohja,” says Kimmo Moilanen, the Chief Real Estate Officer of Soihtu.

Several projects are still in plans for the near future, so the development of Kortepohja will go on.

Soihdun asuinkohteen Kortepohjan ylioppilaskylän sisääntuloaukio, tornitaloja ja Rentukan julkisivu | The entrance square of Soihtu's Kortepohja student village, the Tower blocks and Rentukka's facade
Photo: Jenna Pigg 2021

Construction stages of the Kortepohja Student Village 

The Student Village represents the ideals of student housing from several different eras. The original Kortepohja student village was built in two phases during the years 1968–1975.

Over the years, JYY has built more buildings in the area it received as a donation in Kortepohja. In the years 1990–2016, new buildings were also built, some of which were demolished along the way of the outdated, mostly balcony access house -type building stock.

  • Years of construction: 1968–1975, 1990– 2016; renovations 2007, 2014–2016, 2017–2022
  • Properties: 18 residential apartment buildings (A–T) and community building Rentukka
  • 70% of the apartments are studios, a total of approx. 2,000 places for residents  
  • Lemminkäinen, YIT and Rakennus-Kaseva have been the main contractors in the renovation projects of Tower blocks and Rentukka. 

An extensive article about Kortepohja’s student village has been published in the housing finance and development center Aran Ara-viesti magazine 2 / 2022 (in Finnish only)

Kortepohjan ja Savelan kaupunginosien taloja ilmasta nähtynä. Etualalla Kortetalon paikalta purettu vanha koulurakennus. Soihdun asuintalot kuvan keskivaiheilla.

ARA’s Square Metres of the Year recognition Award 

The prize has been awarded since 2017 to one new construction or basic improvement project financed by ARA. The recipient of the award is selected by ARA. The prize is awarded annually. 

The prize is the “ARA Square of the Year”, a plaque to be attached to the wall of the award-winning building. ARA annually selects a young artist or designer as the author of the award. This year’s award plaque was designed and realized by LAB Design Institute students Alex Domeney and Netta Aavikko. 

More information: 

About the award-winning site, Soihtu and the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä: 

About the award and award criteria: 

More News

A sympathetic home in Kortepohja

, , , / 10.5.2024

Text: Anni Pajari | Pictures: Tiina Salminen, Tiitu Design Valtteri Hiltunen ended up in Jyväskylä partly by chance. His grades guaranteed him a place to study at the University of Jyväskylä, and the new student guide that came with his...

Tenant’s Info Letter of May

, / 6.5.2024

Tenants of Soihtu receive a newsletter about the current housing topics in Kortepohja Student Village, Soihtu Vehkakuja and Soihtu Korttelikylä every month. The newsletter is sent to the e-mail address found in our system and provided by the...

The face of JYY and support for organizations 

, / 3.5.2024

Text: Mari Lähteenmäki | Pictures: Tiina Salminen, Tiitu Design Petro Pitkänen, the Student Union's Member Services Secretary, works with JYY’s several associations. Petro has more than 14 years of experience from the boards of various...