LOCATION: Helsinki, Finland
COMMISSIONED BY: Helsinki Region Municipalities /
Finnish Ministry of the Environment /
Finnish Association of Architects
YEAR: 2007
STATUS: competition
PROGRAM: masterplan
POSITION: architect-in-charge
IN COLLABORATION WITH: Laura Barbieri, Eugenio Mangi (architects)
MATERIALS (MODEL): plexiglas

The region of Helsinki is located in the middle of a clear axis that links the west side of the Uusimaa Region with the Finnish frontier with Russia. The situation of this axis makes of the whole south part of Uusimaa (the municipalities located besides the coast) a crucial point in the country’s exchanging activities overseas. This transversal axis – once it touches the Helsinki region – divides itself into two national routes, constraining the whole region in its centre. The first of these routes follows the coastal line connecting the country overseas; the other one inflects towards the central part of Finland sewing the region with the rest of the country.

Greater Helsinki has grown in a natural manner defining certain lines of urban development that connect the region’s central point (the city of Helsinki) with the northern municipalities (Vihti, Hyvinkää and Mäntsälä). This radial construction of the territory that counts with the municipality of Helsinki as its most important point causes that the rest of the region’s urban structure, as it moves away from Helsinki, looses territorial importance as well as urban densification.

In order to reduce this dispersion, we propose a model of territorial concentration that sews the routes that constrain the region of Greater Helsinki; this by the designation of two axes which are modeled by different ways of connecting the two last north-south regional points (Mäntsälä-Helsinki) which, superposed, draw a possible relation between data exchange(global-national-regional) and territorial (supranational-national-subnational) scales. This organization of the region’s municipalities in a ring, allows us to draw significant natural areas in the interior of this circuit.