Modern day utopia and urban regeneration strategy for Kontula center in Eastern Helsinki

Invited competition - Honorary mention, 2020
Helsinki, Finland
98 000 m²

In Collaboration with Urban Practice
Pioneria is a modern day utopia, a proposal for a socially, ecologically and economically sustainable strategy for regeneration of the centre of Kontula, one of the most stigmatic post-war suburbs of Eastern Helsinki.

The plan looks to respect and utilise what is already there and to reinterpret the modernistic city plan and architecture of the old Kontula outdoor shopping mall and surrounding residential blocks from the 1960s, while maintaining later architectural layers from the 1980s and adding a new one through a series of interventions including urban infill as well as refurbishments and extensions of existing buildings.

Pioneria aims to maintain the diversity, culture and social life that make up the vibrant character of Kontula today, something that is easily lost in the process of transformative redevelopment. At the same time, the proposal looks to enhance the sense of community and safety as well as urban intensity to Kontula centre by both repositioning and adding new public functions as well as reconfiguring and improving the network of public outdoor spaces in the outdoor shopping mall area. Public functions give new life to degraded commercial buildings and add passive surveillance to the core outdoor areas.

New residential buildings are proposed around the shopping mall to attract new inhabitants to the area - pioneers looking to make future Kontula their own. The new residential buildings surrounding the outdoor shopping mall area continue the large scale of the existing urban structure and form a distinctive skyline for the rejuvenated area.

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