PRESS RELEASE JUNE 1, 2020 08:30 A.M.
Mikael Turtiainen was injured in a tram accident a decade ago and had to relearn everything from breathing onwards. However, the recovery of this World Championship hip-hop dancer has stunned everyone: no similar recovery has occurred anywhere in the world. Taking an independent approach to life is crucial to continuous rehabilitation. Mikael will be supported in this mission by Finland’s most accessible home, now being built for the Tuusula Housing Fair 2020.
Honkarakenne was selected as a partner in building Villa Mikael, since the future home must be fully adaptable and have absolutely clean indoor air.
An accessible home aids rehabilitation
Accessibility is growing in importance. Unfortunately, it often remains an afterthought in construction, which makes independent living a challenge for many people with reduced mobility. “I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building and need help to go out. Due to a steep ramp, the yard door is impossible to open from a wheelchair,” says Mikael Turtiainen. Everything will change this summer when Villa Mikael, with every detail designed to meet his needs, is completed at the Tuusula Housing Fair.
No other apartment in Finland has accessibility been taken so far as the basis of construction. Villa Mikael has no thresholds or ramps and the interiors are built on the same level as the yard, for easy, independent mobility. Everyday life is made easier by automatic and smart solutions. The doors open electrically and the upper kitchen cabinets and the lower level of the dishwasher can be raised or lowered. Mikael’s Labrador Retriever, King, can go out into the yard itself, thanks to an ID chip in its collar.
“I can devote my energy to rehabilitation instead of coping with everyday challenges. I can’t wait to move in,” Michael rejoices. There are several reasons to celebrate, as Mikael’s close friend and helper, Sanni, will move into the neighbouring Villa Sanni, with her spouse. The new home will also include a rehabilitation studio, where Mikael can dance and make music. A support rail, which allows Mikael to walk unaided from the hallway to the living room, bears testimony to his amazing recovery.
Clean indoor air to last a lifetime
As well as being fully accessible, Villa Mikael is a healthy home for life. The indoor air must be perfectly clean since, due to the accident, Mikael has only half the normal lung capacity. Due to the house’s beautiful Honka Frame pillar beam construction, its walls will remain breathable. The walls and roof are made of pine, which research shows to be the most antibacterial material available.
Honkarakenne was a natural choice of partner for this challenging project, since pillar beam construction already has a pedigree as a sustainable and healthy solution. Honkarakenne also regards the development of accessibility as important for the future: “As the population ages, more people will need various solutions that promote accessibility and safety in their daily lives. In addition, the health benefits of clean indoor air are taken seriously nowadays — a recent study reveals that Finns regard good indoor air as a key feature in the home,” says Marko Saarelainen, CEO of Honkarakenne.
Honkarakenne Ltd supplies high-quality, healthy and ecological log homes, holiday homes and public buildings. Its buildings are made from Finnish solid wood under the Honka® brand. The company has delivered 85,000 buildings to over 50 countries. We manufacture our home packages in Finland, at our own factory located in Karstula. In 2019, Honkarakenne Group’s consolidated net sales totalled EUR 47.5 million, of which exports accounted for 34%. www.honka.fi