HAKANIEMI SQUARE
Helsinki FI

Type Commission
Role Main consultant, urban space development
Client Helsinki Municipality
Size 60,000 m2
Project Start 2014
Status Completed 2015

The starting point of the project was to find a fresh approach, a new spatial concept and idea for the centrally located Hakaniemi Market Square and its surroundings in Helsinki’s historic working class neighbourhood. The old market square faces a re-shaping, due to large scale infrastructural renovations and urban densification.

 

All east-going buses, trams and metro – furthermore water-buses heading for Helsinki’s archipelago pass through Hakaniemi, which gives the place its character as a traffic hub.

The whole Hakaniemi Square site has an air of shabbiness and a place that’s been forgotten, but has a rich and significant history that should be carried on with the city’s development.

The new plan creates a better relationship between the site and the locals, pedestrians and cyclists, and focuses on developing Hakaniemi square into a lively and visible place around the clock. A variation of spatial atmospheres and experiences is spread over square, street and park spaces.

Existing and new trees

The old square is paved with cobblestones. To increase accessibility the plan suggests adding smoother clean-cut paving stones.

The new stones form routes and spaces to linger in, furthermore to form patterns according the proposed visual principles.

The lighting elements on the square are large in size and give a soft, glare-free, indirect illumination. The tall lighting elements emphasize the great square space and release the square’s surface from massive lighting masts.

A smaller scale, intimate and cozy lighting layer is added in front of the market hall, the park and the water front.

The new plan creates a better relationship between the site and the locals, pedestrians and cyclists, and focuses on developing Hakaniemi square into a lively and visible place around the clock.

A variation of spatial atmospheres and experiences is spread over square, street and park spaces.