Helsinki FI

Type Invited landscape architecture competition, honorary mention
Team Avanto Architects, Olli Keränen, Jesper Kongshaug, Trafix Oy and Ramboll
Role Main consultant, landscape and urban spaces
Area 2,6 ha
Project Start 2013
Status Completed


The canvas for the project is Kalasatama, a new Helsinki neighbourhood with roots in the marine environment and history in fishing and industrial harbour, today connecting to the growing urban centre that surrounds it.


As a part of the inner city, Kalasatama is a major traffic hub and a connection to the northern and eastern parts of Helsinki. Due to the location of the area the public spaces are designed to match an urban atmosphere. Several street spaces and squares form the surroundings of the central tower houses of Kalasatama. An essential link in the chain of Kalasatama’s active outdoor areas is the open space reaching the water’s edge, covered by bridges.

Plans showing the water ripple-like pattern of the urban plan.

When viewed from the high tower houses, the squares melt into one solid, ornamental surface. Seen from the pedestrian level, the large spaces with their changing shapes and pavement patterns, form a decorative and lively

base for the city space. In addition to cosiness, the plan offers plenty of flexibility and unexpectedness with services, activities and workshops which change according to the time of year.

Model studies of the surface and texture. Reminiscent of the site’s marine environment and history.

Technical equipment and structures on ground level are built as sculptural shapes, with perforated steel as their surface material. The same material is used underneath the bridges as a “ceiling” for the public spaces underneath.

An environmental sculpture forms a surprise element by the bridge with its form inspired by jellyfish and rockweed. A pedestrian passageway goes through the transparent structure.

The sculptural forms of the ground level technical elements.
The environmental art piece inspired by jellyfish and rockweed.
A bumpy surface of asphalt and rubber provides a framework for versatile and innovative play, exercise and activity.