A student dormitory located in the Alppila suburb of Oulu, Finland. Also known as POK and Alppila Twin Towers (no, I didn't make that up). Mostly houses 18-30 year old boys and girls studying in University of Oulu or the local polytechnic.
Building the Pohjankaleva was initiated in 1968 by the self-titled foundation of president Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, who personally came up with 60000FIM of funds needed for the project. The aim was to provide the students in Oulu with the cheapest possible housing, which meant the construction costs had to be kept to a minimum. This was met by strong objections from various instances: the Finnnish architects' union prohibited their members for taking the designing job, and the national student organizations' union called the planned buildings "a slum". Despite the resistance, Pohjankaleva was completed in 1972, offering homes for 400 students.
POK is still going strong, and with a major renovation done in 1993 it even looks fairly good for its age. The complex consists of two 8-story buildings (hence the "twin towers" reference), filled with apartments for 2-7 people in the usual Finnish cell apartment style: own rooms, but shared bathroom and kitchen. Pohjankaleva stands on a prime location in Alppila, right between downtown and the university, with excellent public transportation possibilities and such. The neighborhood is also quite peaceful, and if someone really wants to experience ghetto life, Tuira is only a short walk away.. :)
Most of the services can be found on the bottom of building B, including the laundry room, gym and of course the recreational facilities. The basement also contains the students own "club", the Urkki (named by our beloved former president of course). Probably the coolest feature of building B is the sauna, which is located on the roof of the tall tower, and has a balcony with a view all the way to the sea. Building A doesn't offer much in addition to the apartments, apart from a bar called Marissi on the ground floor. Unfortunately, Marissi is more often frequented by middle-aged semi-drunks from the neighborhood instead of the POK residents, and the karaoke evenings during weekends can be quite painful to the students who live directly above. Tower A also provides a sauna, but sadly it's on the ground level without a view.
Even a few "famous" people have been known to stay in Pohjankaleva at some part of their lives. The internationally known house music producer and DJ Jori Hulkkonen used to live in the apartment A804 in the 90s, and even recorded some of his best work there (check out for references to "Alppi-Houz" in his releases). His partners in Lumi Records, Tuomas Salmela and Ari Ruokamo are also proud former POK residents.
Pohjankaleva seems to have earned a kind of bad reputation around Oulu. A common misconception seems to be that all the hundreds of students who live inside these walls are hardcore party animals, are wasted 101% of the time and disturb the peace constantly. There are certainly those who get into the noisy partying thing every now and then, and the resident committee probably organizes more parties than all other dorms in Oulu combined. Nevertheless, after living here for around 5 months I feel this image is severely exaggerated. At least here in the lower part of building A things are usually very calm and peaceful. But if one is categorically against having fun, POK might not be the best choice for student housing around here.
..and living here since october 2002.
What do you know, I made a comeback! Blame sneff for this.