KEILANIEMI NEIGHBOURHOOD SQUARE
Espoo FI

Type Commission
Team SARC Architects
Role Landscape architect
Client Espoo Municipality
Size 10,500 m2
Project start 2019
Status Under construction

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Keilaniemi is historically known as an international business hub in Espoo. Its skyline including the historic Fortum Tower is visible from the Helsinki side of the Keilalahti bay. The area is facing a great transformation; a new landfill makes way for new housing, a new grand hotel tower is built, and the recreational beach promenade is renewed. Keilaniemi square will form the neighbourhood heart, and our design reflects the future mixed-use neighbourhood. An atmospheric and active urban space that kick-start the development and sets a high standard for urban spaces of Keilaniemi.

 

Closeness to the sea is characteristic for Keilaniemi, with stunning views of the bay area, and the archipelago inspires our planting scheme and pavement. The accessibility of the area is excellent. Today, you can reach the neighbourhood by metro, bus, bike or by car, and the Keilaniemi square greets you when you arrive. In the pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood, the square is a central meeting point. 

Arriving at Keilaniemi

When you arrive at the Keilaniemi area if it’s by foot, bike, taxi or by metro you arrive at the new neighbourhood square. The square is on deck, on top of the parking garage, elevated from the street level. Towards the street, you are met by a uniform granite plinth with broad stairs that lead you to

the elevated and semi-enclosed urban space. You step up from the street into the square, and together with the uplifted planting islands, it strengthens the sense of arriving at an urban space. The use of material for both terrain-walls and stars creates a unified image.

Schemes of paving pattern and vegetation islands. The forms are inspired by the Finnish archipelago.
Initial pavement concept
The simplified translation of the pavement concept
Pattern change for the large tiles for the final pavement concept

Closeness to the sea

The identity and the concept of the square are derived from the closeness to the Baltic Sea. The pavement pattern and vegetation is a reflection of the Finnish archipelago and seeks to establish a clear connection with the nearby sea. At ground level, the feeling of an archipelago is created by the

forms and colours of the grey granite paving, and the vegetation typical to the harsh conditions of bedrock surfaces. Seen from the high-rise buildings around the square the graphical image of old maps enhances the impression of the archipelago.

Building site summer 2020.
The paving pattern finalized on site.

A vibrant urban centre

The square should be an active area, with room for both stays, play activities and spontaneous encounters with neighbours or colleagues.
The edges of the square form pockets for conversations and stay. While the centre with its eye-catching wooden hill is both a place to stay and a

place for movement. The rubber-surfaced playing area next to the flowing, wooden surface includes imaginative and multi-functional steel- and wooden forms for callisthenics, climbing and play. Finally, the circular playing area is perfect for casual and spontaneous ball games and events.