Helsinki South Harbour

Design for a competition to redevelop the urban space around Helsinki’s tourist harbour.

South Harbour is one of the main entries to Helsinki, welcoming 5.4 million passengers a year – which makes it Finland’s main passenger harbour. The area is an integral part of the town identity and as such serves as a reference for the city. The competition brief was to create a master plan for the redevelopment of the area, emphasising the strategic significance of this location. The starting point for this design was the need to re-establish the original relationship between the urban fabric and the waterfront.  Through the years, this area has gradually become secluded from the rest of the city, as logistical functions and parking lots occupied its surfaces. By judiciously redefining public space, the site can be reintegrated into its greater urban context. This concept will take shape by means of subtle manipulations of the topography, the use of unambiguous materiality, by establishing connections between public spaces and adjoining streets and painstakingly integrating buildings and public space.  The landscape acts as a support, defines a number of spaces - each featuring various qualities and a different ‘feel’ - and delineates certain zones for development. The concept of ‘shared space’, with several traffic flows encountering one another in the same area, will be put forward to solve the mobility issue.

client City of Helsinki
location Helsinki, Finland
period 2011
procedure competition
surface 230 000 m²
team Lieven Achtergael, Kris Huysmans, Ritaro Shimizu, Aryani Sari Rahmanti, Yen Van Der Voort
i.c.w. Proap (landscape design)