Go back

Oulu is situated on the Sea of Bothnia on a level with the northern Swedish town of Piteå. The district of Toppila Shore is on the banks of the Oulu river, and is going to become an attractive new residential neighbourhood for the town, adjacent to the harbour. White won the architectural competition to design one the neighbourhoods, in competition with two Finnish and one Danish offices.

Our solution is a building that adheres to the laws of nature, with a design based on studies of climate, wind and sun. It is self-sufficient in heating, which can be stored and re-used. Clean, renewable energy is generated by means of solar panels and passive solar heating.

It is a matter of homes that have unique qualities at a reasonable production cost. A modular system permits a great variety of apartment types. That system has here been adapted for the possibility of prefabrication.

The new neighbourhood has been designed in the form of a protecting hand. The playful roofs are actually an adaptation of the conditions provided by the site, and seek to protect the homes from cold winds as well as traffic noise. At the same time, we want to make the most of the views over the water, and to take advantage of the sunlight.

The façades have a light concrete surface resembling snow, while the inside of the home has a warm character from the use of timber. With seasonal changes, home and life adapt to the climate. This produces a high quality home, and at the same time the heating system has major energy benefits.

Toppila Shore

  • Client: Oulo Municipality and SRV-Yhtiöt Oyj
  • Project Start/End: 2008-2011
  • Completed: 2014
  • Area/Size: 25 070 m² GTA
  • City: Oulo
  • Photographer/Illustrator: White View


  • Sara Grahn
  • Mikael Stenqvist
  • Kristina Philipson
  • Jonas Westman
  • Katrin Ehnberg-Gunnarsson
  • Stefan Rummel
  • Rosmari Johansson
  • Erik Eriksson
  • Jan Larsson
  • Lennart Sjögren
  • Robert Niziolek

Similar Projects