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Designer Tapio Anttila’s designer apartments for pollinators

The goal of these design apartments is to inspire home gardeners to accommodate pollinators in their yards, as their nesting and wintering places have diminished. The apartments are part of the city's "Without pollinators we cannot survive" campaign.

The pollinator homes were designed by internationally awarded Lahti-based interior architect and furniture designer Tapio Anttila. He created them in collaboration with carpenter Markku Tonttila. Five unique design homes have been placed in the Mukkula Manor Park.

– We hope that the striking homes will inspire home gardeners to do their part for pollinators. These designer apartments are elegant examples of functional, yet natural design. On a large scale, however, our environment is too neat today, claims Hanna Mattila, project manager of the city of Lahti’s ‘Nature-positive Life’ project.

– We need more controlled unkemptness, so that yards would have all kinds of nooks and crannies for insects and pollinators to live in. Tree stumps are fantastic nesting sites for pollinators and insects! If you for example cut down a tree in your yard, you should leave the stump or even just a pile of twigs for them, Mattila suggests.

Functionalism and avant garde from the frog’s perspective

When Tapio Anttila was asked by the city of Lahti to craft designer apartments for pollinators, he couldn’t help but smile. Anttila, known as an interior architect and furniture designer, has received numerous accolades, such as the Kaj Franck Design Prize in 2018, multiple Good Design Awards, and the Top Designer Award in 2017. He has designed items for many demographics including pets, but insects were a completely new experience.

The project lasted a little over a month and proved to be extremely rewarding.

– I’ve always been the kind of designer that just rushes into things if I get excited. I was able to really let myself loose with this project. It was kind of therapeutic, Anttila describes.

Anttila explains that usually he starts projects by drafting and then moves quickly into 3D modeling, but this special project was run as a workshop, which reminds of musicians’ jam sessions. There’s very little preparation and the process goes by feel with materials in the

The naturalistic design of the apartments blends rough materials like tree bark with different architectual trends. Anttila says that every apartment draws inspiration from different sources, such as the clean-lined Nest for Pollinators Who Are Fans of Functionalism and the Le Corbusier-inspired Abode for Avant Garde-Appreciating Creatures.

In addition to the process and materials, Anttila says the placement of the apartments provided an additional challenge. Even though the apartments are made for pollinators, humans still had to be accounted for:

– The viewing angle of an object is extremely important. You look at a chair from above, but these apartments should look good when viewed from below, from the frog’s perspective.

Read more: Without pollinators we cannot survive