Helsinki FI

Type Invited competition 2012, 2nd prize
Team Anttinen Oiva Architects
Role Responsible for landscape and urban design
Client City of Helsinki
Size 35.000 m2
Status Completed


Helsinki’s extensive port areas are changing as they are transitioning into modern urban districts. With the new district on Koirasaari, one of the most visible islets is developed right at the heart of Helsinki. 


The islet is located in a significant spot, surrounded with very different views and atmospheres. Themes of urban views on one side and beautiful archipelago on the other have been underlined and refined in the port development plan. The plan studies the interaction between sheltering from the challenging climate conditions and opening to views, different ways of living by the sea and the nature of diverse courtyard spaces.


The choice of materials in the urban space is inspi­red by the earlier role as a harbour: robust, durable and functional materials give references to the islet’s life as an industrial area.

The plan suggests re-use for the old oil container’s footprints as recreational places, terraces and vantage points. The existing natural rock shoreline is preserved, with a varying, hilly shore route spanning across it.

Koirasaari islet is located in a significant spot surrounded with very diverse views and atmospheres.

Inspired by the previous use of the place as an oil and gas depot, as well as its geology and climate, the project is designed as a series of different types of neighbourhoods. The heart of the is­let hosts areas with an urban character, surrounded by green neighbourhoods featuring magnificent views of the sea.

views of the sea. By the entrance to Koirasaari, a sheltered, green neighbourhood park connects the different housing blocks, and opens up gradually towards the south and evening sun, towards a channel from the marina.

Studies of the water’s edge and spatialities of the different types of shoreline and jetty.

On the southern tip of the islet, the concrete-clad shore route forms a jetty, a place for observing the sounds and movement of the sea.

Big waves coming from the south-west hit the pier’s lower structures, from where they erupt in sporadic sprays onto the jetty’s surface.