TornioHaparanda (FI/SE)


Project Scales L/S - urban & architectural

Location TornioHaparanda

Population 32,500 inhab.

Strategic site 60 ha – Project site 24 ha

Site proposed by TornioHaparanda twin city

Actors involved City of Tornio (FI), City of Haparanda (SE)

Owners of the site City of Tornio (FI), ELY center of Lapland (FI), Orthodox parish of Oulu (FI), City of Haparanda (SE)

Post-competition phase Post-competition seminar, 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?

Tornio in Finland and Haparanda in Sweden are developing their city centers to become one commercial and functional entity. The project site at the south end of Suensaari island and the north end of Haparanda downtown is important and visible in the urban structure. It holds potential to unite the two cities, yet it is mainly unbuilt and underutilised at the moment. The busy highway E4 runs through the area separating parts of the site from Tornio and Haparanda city centers.
The objective is to find both functional and urban ideas to connect the project site to the city centers and their urban structures. Also, the scale and nature of the highway needs to be studied – how to make it a productive street.

City strategy

TornioHaparanda is located at the north end of the Bothnian Bay in Lapland. Tornio in Finland and Haparanda in Sweden make up an international twin city that has 32 500 inhabitants. The TornioHaparanda area is a centre of cross-border trade and known for its steel industry. The development for building one joint center for the two cities started already 20 year ago and the process continues with Europan 14.

Site definition 

The project site is situated by the Tornio river between Haparanda and Tornio city centres. It is a flat and open area with parks, recreational fields and large open parking lots. The site is mainly unbuilt. There is a small orthodox church and a commercial building which will remain, and a couple of service buildings and warehouses that will be demolished. Tornio Lyseo school building is currently vacant and will need a new use.
The site is split in half by the highway E4. It is an extremely busy border crossing between Finland and Sweden with 14 million annual crossings. The whole area is currently affected by the noise and traffic of the highway.

How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?

The task of the competition is to propose both functional and urban ideas for the area such as buildings for travel, recreational uses as well as housing. Productive themes will be addressed by asking:

- How to use the site to connect the two centers, Tornio and Haparanda?
- How to utilise the exquisite location by the river?
- How to convert the highway to a productive street?
- How to unlock the potential of the passing traffic?
- How to deal with the traffic noise and pollution?
- How to illustrate possibilities for leisure and recreation?
- How to provide good conditions to promote business and its visibility in the area?

View to Haparanda from the border
Public art in Haparanda


View from the site towards Tornio city center
Border between Finland and Sweden



TornioHaparanda from Ville Söderström on Vimeo.

Questions on the site

Is it possible to have the "D1-Rajakaari" pdf in English?

Unfortunately not.
Rajakaari plan is a result of a user-driven design process. There was first an idea competition for elementary and high school students in 2006. The final design is based on thse ideas.
Some elements of the design have been implemented, such as two of the wooden huts (see Rajakaari document, pages 15-17) but not others. There's no schedule to implement the rest of the design.

Can we have all the plans of gymnasium block school in dwg format?

They have been added.

Is Rajakaari architect plan definitive and will it be achieved or can we propose alternative urban structure?

You can propose an alternative design for the Rajakaari area. The design could include paths, playgrounds and other small structures but not buildings. See the Competition brief 2.2.1 Floods and 4.2.1 Construction. 

We are invited to propose new functions for the private commercial building on the Tornio shore: can we have plans of that building, in dwg format?

We added dwg plans.

Do plans of the old town hall exist?

We added pdf drawings of the old Town Hall.

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