Helsinki (FI)


Project Scales L/S - Urban and architectural

Location Helsinki Laajasalo

Population Helsinki 630,000 inhab., Laajasalo 16,000 inhab.

Strategic site 50 ha – Project site 12 ha

Site proposed by Helsinki City Planning Department

Actors involved City of Helsinki

Owners of the site City of Helsinki and other site owners

Post-competition phase Post-competition seminar with site representatives, selection of one winning team for an implementation process

Team representative Architect or landscape architect

More Information

How can the site contribute to the productive city?

According to the new Helsinki city plan there will be several four-lane highways in the inner city converted into urban boulevards. One of them is situated in the Laajasalo suburban area.
Kruunusilta bridges and a new tram line will connect Laajasalo directly to Helsinki’s city center creating an opportunity to transform the area into an urban neighbourhood. The existing highway will become an urban boulevard and infill projects will be required. The objective of the competition is to study what the characteristics and scale of the new boulevard would be and how the suburban area can become a diverse productive neighbourhood.

City strategy

Helsinki is the capital of Finland and the economic centre of the region with approximately 630 000 inhabitants. Helsinki is a modern European city known for its architecture, design and technological knowhow – a pocket-sized metropolis that is easy to explore on foot. Helsinki City Council approved a new city plan in the fall 2016. The city plan is a strategic land use plan that enables the growth of Helsinki to 860 000 residents by 2050. According to the plan, roughly one-third of the new construction will be located on city boulevards in the expanding inner city, another one-third consisting of infill construction at rail transport hubs, and the remaining one-third in new development areas such as the Malmi airport.

Site definition 

Laajasalo is a residential area 10km from Helsinki city center with 16 000 inhabitants. Yliskylä is the northern part of it with 7 000 inhabitants. The area has mainly suburban apartment blocks built in the 1960’s and 70’s. The project area consists of a four-lane highway Laajasalontie with its ramps and large unbuilt areas on both sides. The highway was built in the 1960’s with the car-centric ideals of its time. The current traffic flow is only 18 000 vehicles per day but in the future the amount is estimated to double with densification and new developments in the area. In the project area there’s also a forested area by Yliskylänlahti bay which has a popular recreational path and a marina.

How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?

The existing Laajasalontie highway will be converted to an urban boulevard by demolishing the access ramps and adding new buildings on both sides. A tram line and dedicated bike lanes among other changes will transform the nature of the highway towards a productive street. There will be a new commercial hub in the area and apartments for at least 3 000 new inhabitants. Housing, services, commercial activities and production will be mixed in the new buildings.
The objective of the competition is to study:

- How to make Laajasalo a versatile and diverse urban district?
- How to create a new urban identity?
- How to create active and vivid urban environment with sustainable traffic?
- How to take care of the traffic noise and pollution?
- How to create new street life?
- How to better connect the area to the sea?

In addition to site specific solutions, the competitors can present conceptual ideas for urban boulevards.

Laajasalontie highway
Housing block in Yliskylä


Yliskylänlahti bay
Laajasalontie highway from the North


Questions on the site

In the detailed plan no 12430 the size of the fuel station is 600 sqm while on the brief it is 400 sqm. Which size should we use?

The size of the fuel station is 600 sqm and it can be two storeys tall.

Is the street section showed in the file FI-Helsinki-PS-D1-tramway mandatory? Is it possible to imagine a different section where the tram line is not in the middle of the street but on the side?

The tramway proposal FI-Helsinki-PS-D1-tramway is not mandatory. You can make a proposal with tram lines on the sides of the street as well if well justified.

Detailed plan no 12430 (FI-Helsinki-PS-M8) does not contain the names of the plots, and as a consequence it is not possible to understand to which plot the conditions at the point 4.4.8 of the brief refer to.

We added a revised file with the names of the plots (FI-Helsinki-PS-M8-detailed plan no12430-1_4000-EDIT 170427.pdf). There was also a mistake in the section 4.4.8 in the brief. These are the correct instructions:

Competitors must apply some conditions of the plan to their proposal.
Plot 1: location of the service and fuel station, size 600 m2.
Plot 7: location of the car park.
Plots 8 and 10: locations and heights of the residential buildings.
Location of Kiiltomadonpolku bridge.
Plot 2 (not 6 and 9): location, size and shape of the building.

We added the official detailed plan no 12430. It is only in Finnish but you don't need to read the instructions, they are summarized in the revised file.

In the detailed plan no 12430 (FI-Helsinki-PS-M8.pdf) it is not clear what the relationship between the red building (II/III floors) outside the project site and the yellow buildings is. Do they share a common ground floor plan?

The "red" building is a shopping center that is under construction. The numbers (II/III) indicate the amount of floors including the ground floor. The "yellow" buildings are residential buildings that have not been designed yet.
The "red" and "yellow" buildings will be built right next to one another and there will be a shared structural wall between them. The first two floors of the "yellow" buildings will be commercial spaces that open towards Laajasalontie street. From the floor 3 up there will be apartments. The shared yards will be on the roof of the commercial building.
One of the main entrances to the shopping center will be under the Kiiltomadonpolku bridge (green) on Laajasalontie street. The residential parking will be in the shared parking garage (green, plot 7) and the commercial parking will be in the basement of the shopping center.
NOTE! In Finland the ground level is marked level 1 (or floor 1).

The dxf file FI-Helsinki-SS-M1-2D.dxf does not contain the project site perimeter or the buildings of the plan 12430.

We added a revised file (FI-Helsinki-SS-M1-2D-EDIT 170427.dxf) with three new layers:

- 001 competition area (project site perimeter)
- 002 buildings of plan 12430
- 003 plot areas (plot perimeters)

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