How a wide variety of Oras’ faucet solutions helped preserve the cultural heritage of the famous Kakola area throughout the project’s construction phase.
The Kakolanmäki area is one of the most historical landmarks in Finland. Centred in the city of Turku, on top of the Kakola hill, lies the famous former prison complex, which used to be home to some of the country’s most infamous criminals.
Ever since the prison was moved to a new location in the early 2000s, the area has turned into a trendy neighbourhood with around 260 modern apartments, restaurants, and the boutique hotel, Kakola Hotel, with its congress facilities.
The challenge: Conserving the site’s historic charm and local environment
“The easiest part was purchasing the site from the state, after that, things became a little more complex”, explains Olli Ojala, chair of the board and property advisor at Kakola Group.
Transferred to the Kakola Group’s ownership in 2015, redesigning the former prison to a high-end home and hotel area meant following strict requirements. After all, the historic site forms a unique entity and covers 50,000-floor square metres of old and protected buildings, subject to supervision by the Finnish Heritage Agency.
This meant that all construction plans had to be approved before they could be implemented, a demanding task for the construction of the 260 apartment homes and 150 hotel rooms featured by the project.
Meanwhile, protecting the site’s environmental and cultural heritage was one of the project’s key priorities. This involved saving valuable resources and minimising the water and energy consumption of the project.
The solution: Combining the group’s local expertise with customised support and a wide variety of faucets
Set out to integrate sustainability into their overall architecture, the project underwent complex soil decontamination and rezoning processes. It also placed high importance on installing advanced resource-saving installations. This allowed them to meet key requirements of strict green building certifications, such as LEED and BREEAM, and simultaneously provide a pleasing, luxurious experience to guests.
“We wanted to keep water consumption as low as possible, but without compromising on comfort”, says Ojala.
By partnering up, the Kakola Group combined their local expertise with Oras’ customised support and solutions. Carrying out projects of protected sites for 40 years, the Kakola Group was well-experienced in accommodating the specific conditions of the project. Meanwhile, Oras’ expertise in developing water-saving installations provided guidance to select the perfect solution in each context – from luxurious hotel bathroom fixtures to kitchen faucets installed in the surrounding apartment complexes.
The perfect solution for each context: The hotel bathrooms feature Oras Safira faucets in matt black. The apartments were fitted with Oras Optima kitchen faucets.
“We explained our criteria for the water fixtures and the Oras representative brought a number of models to show us. Decision-making proved easy as we were able to choose independently in a small group with the owner-family”, Ojala continues.
Aware that maintaining the historic context of the region was a key priority, Oras focused on supplying water infrastructure that conserves the site’s ecosystem and guarantees the quality, lifespan and availability of spare parts needed to ensure continuity and maintainability to the hotel.
A final touch – Authentic design with diverse design lines
Alongside the financial investment, the primary goal of the project was of cultural nature. The hotel, for example, offers special ‘cell rooms’ that are designed to play on the building’s former life as a prison. For this, specific faucets that create as authentic as possible experience for adventurous guests was required. That’s why the faucets chosen for this section maintain a simple design and only have a cold-water supply.
Oras cold water faucet in a 'cell room.'
For the remaining installations, matt black faucets were chosen that perfectly align with the hotel’s overall interior.
“We chose the Oras Safira and Oras Optima product families. The matt black colour goes well with the hotel's colour scheme, which was inspired by the site’s unique history”, explains Ojala.
The matt black fittings were chosen to match the hotel's colour scheme, which was inspired by the site’s unique history: Oras Optima shower system and Safira washbasin faucet.
The design of shower and washbasin faucets creates a pleasingly simple aesthetic and is particularly easy to use and maintain.
The result: Perfect alignment down to the last detail
The Kakola project did not only bring new life to the Kakolanmäki region and found a new purpose for the historic landmark. It also showed the Kakola Group’s dedication to finding the perfect solution for each context.
With the overall goal in mind to create an authentic, top-notch hotel and apartment experience, the group looks back on a successful renovation project that conserves the local environment and regenerates the site’s unique charm – visible in each of the fixture’s details.