The City of Turku witnessed an unusual sight when the world’s first, fully furnished and complete, movable apartment building was floated from the shipyard to its shore-side plot. The technology has excited interest both in Finland and abroad.
Among those behind this specialized transport are modular apartment specialists Neapo Oy. The architect Caterina Casagrande-Mäkelä from CC-M Arkkitehdit Oy and building designer Eero Kotkas from Vahanen Oy designed the movable apartment building in accordance with their client’s requirements. The building is on a leased plot so, once the lease is over, it can be moved to a new location.
— As the client’s plot is by the shore and because there was also a suitable factory site on the coast, transport via water proved to be a functional alternative. It also served as an exhibition of the skill of our steel cell technology that allows such large entities to be moved from one place to another, explains PR executive Hanna Mielismäki.
Ready to move straight from the factory
— Without the FIXCEL steel cell technology it would not have been possible to implement this project. This unique and globally patented framework solution is extremely durable and stiff, yet at the same time it is light, emphasizes Mielismäki.
Neapo manufactures all its products inside the factory to be ready for moving. According to Mielismäki this brings several benefits.
— Within the factory environment building the quality, costs, material wastage and environmental impact are all under control.
Within the factory, the HVAC pipework was completed, lighting systems and tiling of the wet areas was completed, the façade was covered and internal and external surfaces were finished. The three-storey building is 33 metres in length, 12 metres high and it weighs 220 tonnes.
The sea journey was carried out using a large pontoon vessel onto which the building was moved used motorized pallets. At the site the building was lifted with hydraulic jacks onto reinforced concrete pillars and connected to the municipal services. Nostokonepalvelu took responsibility for the transport.
The Neapo technology is suited, for example, for construction projects carried out close to the sea and where road transport can be problematic because of the width of the roads.
— The new technology opens up new possibilities for the building industry and for architecture. There has been considerable interest.
CEO Olli Vuola compares the steel cell construction with the earthquake resistant technology used in Japan, which is complicated and expensive.
— Steel cell construction brings the same characteristics but achieves them in a simpler and more economical way. Our concept will certainly be of interest to Asian buildings as it is earthquake resistant.
The apartment building that moves on water