As a part of the exhibition "Helsinki Neighborhood Project 20 years" we imagined a Helsinki suburb in the year 2100 concentrating on the collective spaces. Pauli Komonen from Futures Specialists Helsinki association helped us to imagine the world in 85 years. The timespan is too wide for forecasting with current mega-trends. Therefore our method was to create a desired outcome, a utopia, and back-cast it to the present.
Three main arguments are:
- Suburbs used to have repeating optimized element technique. In future buildings will be 3d printed and as ecological as possible with adjusting functions to sunlight, view etc.
- Suburbs used to "look" into the nature, having the inhabitants as the master of the natural world. In future the mankind will have to live in a balance with the nature.
- In the past suburbs never had proper collective spaces. In future the collective spaces have own scalable spaces usually in the ground / top floor.
The result is a claim of a public square as an eternal social space. The suburbs will resemble more like small towns with own cultural etc. services. The old 1970s concrete blocks have been recycled and used as a raw material for the 3d printed concrete houses. On the other side a building is made completely of a slender, transparent, load-bearing and heat-insulated wall material functioning as a solar panel at the same time. Rooftop-gardening takes place inside a greenhouse.
The square has a transparent nanoparticle canopy guaranteeing a comfortable weather condition year-round. The public building is also located in the square adjusting to various functions from health service to cultural happenings. A hologram zoo is visiting and farmers are selling their products.
The project was made in collaboration with Virkkala de Vocht Architects.
⟨ Cottage City Helsinki ⟩
The Finns’ beloved summer cottage tradition is a very broad cultural phenomenon on a global scale. However, the country’s roughly 550,000 summer cottages - increasingly leisure homes - not only constitute an enjoyable recreational place, but also raise an ecological and infrastructural problem. An increasing number of cottages are kept heated year-round for maintenance or convenience reasons. In addition, an approximate 118 kilometres has to be covered by a car to get to majority of them, since they are, by nature, mostly inaccessible by public transport. This tests the infrastructure of the municipalities with higher percentage of summer cottages during the peak summer months, when the urban population moves out of the cities.
At the end of 2013, more than 10,000 Helsinki residents entered a lottery to gain one of the 19 allotment places on Helsinki’s Lammassaari. It is clear that a need for places of urban recreation and leisure exists. The traditional workers’ summer settlements and allotments are currently the privilege of only a few and their accessibility should be significantly increased.
The younger generation has an awakened interest in the community, which is manifested, for example, by different models of exchange economy and co-ownership they adopt in matters demanding higher levels of investment. The appreciation of leisure time has also generally increased through a variety of downshifting and ‘slow life’ movements. What is the degree of privacy needed in the summer cottage? Would an increasing number of people prefer to spend their leisure time in more populated and socially concise areas typical to Central Europe? Or in places that are a combination of allotments and communes like Hüttendorf in Germany?
Helsinki is a city close to nature. The surrounding sea and the forest extend to the key areas of it. Helsinki is one of Europe's most sparsely built capital cities and some areas are unsuited to vast housing construction due to their size or particular nature. Such areas could serve as temporary or permanent semi-urban areas for recreational use.
This plan for "Cottage City Helsinki" will examine three examples of new kind of opportunities for establishing a summer cottage tradition within the city, where public transport is utilised and where grocery stores, restaurants and bars, as well as other city services are all within reach.
High building density guides natural social interaction.
A new urban summer cottage would be an interesting way to continue the less than a century-old Finnish summer cottage tradition.
As hospital buildings transformed over the centuries from housing the sick and the dying to offering treatment and as prison architecture was redesigned with discipline, supervision and punishment in mind, a contemporary holiday home could also change from its original model as a shelter or a hunting lodge that offered protection from the weather and wild animals. It could fully serve its function as a place for relaxation in the nature and a little tinkering, such as gardening.
Different locations require different building types, similarly to people having different housing needs in various stages of their lives. The plans I present here propose three new alternatives to the traditional cottage typology. Each plan examined – whether sprinkled within woods, spread along a field or integrated on a bridge - offers a catalogue of differently sized and shaped building options. The units within the totality are largely the same, but different enough so that when randomly combined they can produce a vivid and an interesting whole.
All of the plans are ideally suited to using renewable energy sources and climate-friendly building stock, like wood and recycled materials.
The Central Arts Council of Finland has made this plan possible through a one-year artist grant.
⟨ Urbs in Horto ⟩
Competition proposal for urban infill in Kauniainen, Finland. Made together with architects Matias Saresvuo and Mikael Saurén. 2016.
A proposal to provide rapid housing for a large amount of asylum seekers in Helsinki. Standard sea-containers are customized in order to make the stackable housing units. Competition proposal, "From Border to Home" in 2015.
⟨ Enonkoski ⟩
A combination of a summer house and ateliér in Eastern Finland. Sketch, 2015. Made in collaboration with architect Sofia de Vocht / Virkkala de Vocht Architects.
⟨ West Village ⟩
A proposal to integrate housing into a 1960's office headquarters in Helsinki. The east-west oriented blocks create a lively urban environment, a lifted green plaza surrounds all the buildings.
Made at / with Huttunen Lipasti Pakkanen Architects Ltd. Invited competition, honorary mention. 2014.
⟨ Deltamarin HQ ⟩
An office sketch for Deltamarin Ltd. in Turku, Finland. The facades of the triangular slab adapt to different orientations. All the service spaces are located in the courtyard to make the office space as open as possible. Invited competition, 1st prize. Made in collaboration with architect Tuomas Toivonen in 2010.
⟨ Valkeakoski ⟩
A sketch for urban renewal in Valkeakoski, Finland. Commission. Made in collaboration with architect Eero Lundén. 2011.