Helsinki East Urban Centre
- Location: Helsinki, Finland
- Client: City of Helsinki
- Program: Urban Planning
- Size: 370 000 m2
- Year: 2020
- Status: Purchase, two stage open international competition
- Collaborators: MASU Planning, Sitowise
- Team: Ted Schauman, Jonas Nordgren, Kristian Kontula, Lasse Vejlgård Kristensen, Emanuele Biscaro, Paulina Schroeder, Ria Aasholm, Ania Dacewicz, Tymon Wolender
A balanced community based on local values, multiculturalism, and nature
East Helsinki Glocal Center
The proposal is based on sustainable, place-based development. At the same time, it revolutionizes the image and cityscape identity of Itäkeskus and Itäväylä, connecting the Neighborhoods of the area seamlessly. The vision is to create an attractive and sustainable living environment in the center of Eastern Helsinki by strengthening the current diverse culture and connecting the planning area to the surrounding green structure even more strongly. The area’s diverse cultural and recreational activities, together with the store, create a unique entity that invites people to enjoy the rest of Helsinki as
Diverse, green, and flexible urban structure
The plan is based on a living, activating urban space based on social diversity, which offers diverse opportunities for activities and stays for everyone. Wider green connections in the urban area are transformed into green, active urban spaces where biodiversity and connection to cultural values are present. The plan establishes a clear hierarchy of urban space between public and private areas. Enclosed block structures, material changes, residential front zones, and stone-foot services help make a clearly legible distinction between public and private.
Functionally, the different areas combine seamlessly, forming extensive pedestrian and bicycle connections
A new landmark of Itäkeskus will be built at the intersection of Itäväylä and Ring Road I, in the vicinity of the ellipse. The two taller tower buildings in the area, together with the Itäväylä’s renewable cityscape, strengthen the urban identity and recognizability of the Itäväylä border.
Carbon neutral Eastern Helsinki
The cross-cutting idea of the competition proposal is to strive for sustainability as widely as possible. The plan identifies aspects of sustainability more broadly than in a typically built environment – in addition to economic, ecological, and social sustainability, cultural sustainability is more strongly involved. The Eastern Helsinki region is known for its multiculturalism, and our vision is strongly based on this background. The aim is to create a socially just environment and a sustainable urban structure, in which case all aspects of sustainability must be taken into account and interact.