View of Makasiiniranta. Picture: Henna Inkinen, City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division

11 design groups to partake in the international competition for Makasiiniranta

Launched in May 2021, the City of Helsinki is holding a competition to find a partner for the development and implementation of Makasiiniranta at the South Harbour. The groups approved for the competition have been selected and the groups will compile their entries in the latter part of the year.

The two-phase Makasiiniranta quality and concept competition is intended for both Finnish and international operators, or consortia of operators, in the construction and real estate industry who have the technical, financial and other prerequisites to design and realise a particularly challenging and high-quality construction project along the western shore of Helsinki’s South Harbour bay.

The competition has aroused interest both domestically and internationally. Of the competition applications received by the deadline, 11 groups meet the competitor eligibility requirements. In terms of architecture, Finland's largest and most international offices are involved, as well as a few well-known international offices in the field.

“We are pleased that the competition has attracted so much interest. The participating consortia are very knowledgeable and I believe we will receive high quality and diverse competition proposals. The location is a valuable business card for Helsinki, so our expectations regarding the quality of public space, for example, are very high”, says Mikko Aho, Head of the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division.

By the end of the year, the competitors are expected to submit an overall plan, detailing the expansion of the city centre, along with its services, to Makasiiniranta. The Makasiiniranta area will in the future be part of the pedestrian city centre and the seaside trail around the shores of Helsinki, and as a location for the new Architecture and Design Museum.

The competition proposals will be made available to the public for commenting in late 2021

The proposals will be submitted under pseudonyms and put on public display following the end of the first phase of the competition. In December, the public will be able to comment on the proposals and share their ideas for further development through the Kerro kantasi (Voice your opinion) service. The feedback received will be utilised in the evaluation of the entries.

The jury will make its decision on the entries selected to progress in the competition in February–March 2022. The jury will select a maximum of four best competitors for the second phase. In the evaluation of the entries, special attention will be paid to the cityscape-related quality of the plans, the functionality and feasibility of the concept, the quality of the pedestrian environment and the urban space, and solutions that promote the implementation of the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 programme, as well as how the new Architecture and Design Museum, the Old Market Hall and the harbour buildings are taken into consideration.

The selected competitors will compile more detailed proposals by the end of June 2022. The competition entries will also be put on public display and made available for public commenting via the Kerro kantasi service in the second phase. You can follow the progress of the competition at makasiiniranta.hel.fi

The results of the competition will be announced in autumn 2022. The winning group will continue planning the area as partnership planning in collaboration with the City.  The competition winner will be appointed to implement the plans as submitted within the competition for Makasiiniranta. Later, the City Council will decide on the implementation agreement and approving the detailed plan created for the area.

The design groups accepted into the competition are:

• Foster + Partners, Maanlumo and Ramboll with Hines Nordics

• HGR Property Partners, PES-Architects, VSU, Sweco, WSP

• Konsortium Gran, K2S Architecs, White Arkitekter, Ramboll, HTJ

• Merellinen Helsinki 2030, JKMM, Loci, Ramboll

• NCC Property Development Oy ja NCC Suomi Oy (NCC, Arkkitehdit Soini & Horto, AOR Arkkitehdit, MASU Planning, Destia, Ramboll Finland, Salsa Concept)

• Skanska CDF Oy ja Skanska Talonrakennus Oy (Skanska Talonrakennus, Arkkitehtitoimisto ALA, SLA S/A, Sitowise

• South Harbour (NREP, SRV, Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit, Nomaji maisema-arkkitehdit, Sitowise)


In addition to this, the following parties were accepted into the competition on a conditional basis: (the applications require specifications)

• AALTO Development, Shigeru Ban Architects, LMA, VSU, Sitowise

• Elävä Eteläsatama, Arkkitehdit Tommila, A-insinöörit, VSU

• Kuryłowicz & Associates, Hill International, RS Landscape Architecture, CTD

• Maestro Design & Management, arkitektur+ development, Sweco Arkitekter, Rolf Lundgren