A new startup and growth company campus is being planned for the site of the former Maria Hospital of Helsinki. The campus would be the biggest of its kind in the Nordic countries. The current startup campus on the site, which opened in 2016, would expand to the southern section of the site, which would be developed with a great deal of new office and other non-residential space.
The City of Helsinki is currently drawing up a detailed plan for the area enabling the planned infill construction in cooperation with a consortium led by YIT and Keva. The City Board’s Economic Development Division reserved the area in November 2018 for a startup campus feasibility study, as a result of an enrollment and negotiation procedure.
The plans are on display both online at hel.fi/suunnitelmat (in Finnish) and at the Urban Environment Division’s customer service office at Sörnäistenkatu 1 until 12 April 2019.
Space for more than 4,000 workers
The plans propose a dense office block comprising 50,000 square metres of floor area for more than 4,000 workers to be built in the southern section of the site. In addition to offices, the area would have commercial and service space available to all potential tenants, such as cafés, restaurants and show rooms. The block could also have small-scale accommodation services.
The buildings on Mechelininkatu and Porkkalankatu should be of varying height but mainly mid-rise buildings with less than 10 floors, in order to comply with the scale of the old hospital buildings in the northern section of the site. New buildings on the Baana bike and pedestrian route would be lower, in order to keep the environment as well-lighted and pleasant as possible.
According to the plans, the former hospital buildings in the northern section of the site would be permanently converted into offices, and small-scale infill construction is planned for the section on Mechelininkatu. The hospital buildings, which are of notable cultural and historical value, would be protected. Some of the old wooden buildings would be removed away from the construction in the southern section of the site, to be placed either inside the Maria site or elsewhere in Helsinki. The 1980s apartment building in the centre of the site would be demolished.
A new pedestrian and cycling bridge to be built in the area
The goal of the plans is to link the former hospital site more closely with the surrounding urban areas both in terms of function and traffic. Connections would be improved with a new pedestrian and cycling bridge over Baana from the end of Lastenkodinkatu. New ramps and stairs are proposed to be built in the vicinity of the bridge. Possibilities to build a cycling tunnel connecting Baana and Lapinlahdentie are also studied.
The detailed plan alteration should be presented to the Urban Environment Committee in the autumn of 2019. The final decision on the detailed plan alteration will be made by the City Council.