The winner of the international idea competition for Lentoasemanpuisto in Malmi is Crossing Horizons

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The winning entry is a statuesque, spacious and thoroughly considered plan that is firmly linked to the cultural-historical context and natural processes of the location. The winning entry divides the park into four distinct landscape sections: a pasture next to Fallkulla Domestic Animal Farm, an archaeological intersection, i.e. the runway junction at the centre of Lentoasemanpuisto, an area of open urban fields and a forest corridor that connects the park to Helsinki’s eastern green spaces. The new park activities and structures are focused on the historical skeleton of the existing four runways. The plan also includes the building of a field for event and sports use.

The eastern part of the park is primarily forested, whereas the rest of the park consists of open landscape areas of alternating meadows, hills and stormwater basins. When viewed from the terminal and the hangar’s event area, the park opens up as a rising plane of meadows.

Praise for coordinating natural values and cultural history

The jury praised the winning entry for being successfully linked to its more extensive environment. The proposal shares interesting commentary on its surroundings while leaning on various natural elements. The proposal includes conclusive plans for both protecting the existing natural values and adding new ones. The proposal links to the area’s special cultural history characteristics by maintaining the runway lines as visible planes in the park and keeping the openness of the field in front of the terminal and hangar. The winning entry proposes the building of a statuesque gate and pedestrian bridge at the runaway intersection, from where people will be able to view the open meadow landscape.

“The proposal is firmly rooted in the site and the area’s history, which it successfully interprets. The preservation of the meadows gives the park an idyllic character, while the rough range of materials in the field is strengthened with new, statuesque elements. The overarching idea is the natural coexistence of ecological diversity and human functions,” says Salla Hoppu.

From idea competition to follow-up planning

The City of Helsinki in cooperation with the Finnish Association of Landscape Architects (MARK) held an open international ideas competition for the design of Lentoasemanpuisto on the site of the former Malmi Airport. The competition was held to find a vision that combines the cultural history, nature value and ecological diversity of the area in a unique way.

A total of 34 proposals from 13 different countries were submitted to the competition, presenting alternative ideas and approaches to planning Lentoasemanpuisto. The quality of the entries was high overall, and they offered a chance to review the park’s future role at the centre of a constructed area from a diverse array of perspectives. The best entries successfully incorporated the area’s natural values, cultural environment and varied functions to create a unique park with a strong identity. All of the competition entries can be viewed on the City’s website at kerrokantasi.hel.fi/lentoasemanpuisto.

The planning of Lentoasemanpuisto will now continue with the preparation of a master plan on the basis of the winning proposal. The other most highly rated entries will also be utilised in the follow-up planning.

The plan will also be used to guide the temporary use of the former airport area, as the area will not be completely finished until the 2040s. Both the current and new residents of Malmi will be able to enjoy the fruits of the competition, because the design ideas will be utilised in the design of both the temporary and final use.