Entries selected for the second phase of the Elielinaukio Square and Asema-aukio Square architectural competition are open for comments until November 8

| Helsingin kaupunki, kaupunkiympäristön toimiala

A little over a year ago, five design teams were invited to participate in the architectural concept competition for Elielinaukio Square and Asema-aukio Square. In spring 2021, the panel of judges evaluated the competition entries and selected Albero and Klyyga for the second phase. In its decision and feedback, the panel of judges took the thousands of comments received from city residents into consideration.

In the view of the judges, Albero and Klyyga were the best at addressing the requirements of the competition programme after the first phase. These entries have now been revised. The aim is to make the Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio area a comfortable and lively part of the pedestrian city centre as well as to offer high-quality street and square spaces. The new construction must be a natural fit with the valuable environment and the surrounding building stock. The panel of judges also presented its wishes to the Albero and Klyyga design teams regarding the development of the entries. At the same time, the construction volume target was reduced by about one quarter.

View and comment competition entries at the Voice Your Opinion online service

The competition entries were developed further for the second phase. They have been made available for viewing and commenting by city residents and other parties interested in the development of the area. The panel of judges is hoping for clear feedback as to which proposal should be used as the basis for the design project going forward. It is intended that the winner will be announced at the end of December.

“The design competition has sought to find a general solution that can be developed from the perspectives of both the cityscape and implementation. The competition is looking for an idea on the basis of which actual building design and urban planning will be started up,” says Vesa Olkkola, CEO of Elielinaukion kehitys Oy.

The materials produced by the design teams for both of the entries that were carried forward have been published: introductory text, visualisation and the competition proposal in its entirety. Comments may be submitted until 8 November 2021. The feedback received will be used in the judging of the project.

You can submit your comments at Voice your opinion online service.

Albero’s design team describes its updated competition entry as follows: “Albero has now been optimized yet is true to the original reverent radical vision that embraced and elevated the existing environment. Its architectural appearance is determined by directions, public functions and the surrounding buildings. It forges an archaic architectural expression for a new way forward – combining work, play and experiences.”

The team behind KLYYGA describes its competition entry as follows: “The new city quarters architecture is a volumetric massing that matches the railway station building and steps up to the Post office building. The new identity for Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio is a generous, common urban carpet for walkability and green mobility.”

Elielinaukio will become a vibrant and lively hub for jobs as part of the pedestrian centre

The renewal of the Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio area is part of a wider effort to develop central Helsinki and the railway station area. It aims to bolster the position of the city centre as an attractive business district and major hub for jobs. The Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio area will become a vibrant and lively part of the pedestrian centre with a diverse range of services. The aim is to make the area more functional, especially for pedestrians and cyclists.

The competition is organised by Elielinaukion kehitys Oy together with the City of Helsinki. Elielinaukion kehitys Oy is controlled by the area’s property owners Ilmarinen, OP-Vuokratuotto, VR, SOK, Exilion and Evata Partners, a company specialising in real estate development and investment. The panel of judges consists of the competition organisers, an expert judge from the Finnish Association of Landscape Architects (MARK), and both an international and a Finnish expert judge.

You can read more about the competition at neweliel.fi