Winner of design competition for "Wise mobility city block" in Helsinki's Oulunkylä district takes tomorrow's consumer into consideration

20 November 2017

Car parking facility can be replaced later by residential buildings

Cities will be investing increasingly in public transport in the future. If this coincides with reduced private car use, underground parking facilities will become obsolete. This perspective was taken into consideration in the design competition organised by SATO, the City of Helsinki, VR Group and the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA). The winning proposal for the "Wise mobility city block" in the Oulunkylä district of Helsinki features an above-ground parking facility that is designed and scaled so that it can later be replaced by residential buildings.

The location of the site named "Wise mobility city block" at the intersection of the Jokeri Light Rail service and the main railway line is unique. The most important starting point adopted for land use planning here was a city block structure based on public transport connections and opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle traffic with flexibility in response to changing housing and mobility needs. Residents will primarily be steered towards walking, cycling and public transport use, and the reductions in the number of car parking spaces permitted by the City of Helsinki were taken into account in the amount of parking spaces designed for the block.

Image*: "Autumn Sonnet", HMV Architects Ltd*

Adaptability at public transport connections hub

Submitted by HMV Architects Ltd, the winning proposal entitled "Autumn Sonnet" was praised by the jury specifically for its adaptability for various future purposes and for its solutions encouraging mobility. The competition entry takes into consideration the diversity of housing from the urban development perspective and will feature ARA-subsidised and Hitas homes as well as non-subsidised rental homes. The competition entries were also on public display for local residents.

- The areas along the Jokeri Light Rail service and their infill construction are an important development target for the City of Helsinki. It's great to see how a new and interesting set of homes will be created at the hub of the Jokeri Light Rail and the Oulunkylä railway station. In infill construction, redevelopment involving demolition is one way of increasing urban density and vibrancy. This project will be an interesting example of such redevelopment. I find it exciting that the winning proposal is one that has confidence in the attractiveness of public transport and in which urban evolution and public transport development have also been considered over the longer term, says Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, City of Helsinki.

- I'm very happy about the excellent cooperation that's been seen in the advancement of this project with the City of Helsinki and the other partners. The residential area will provide up to more than a thousand users for the Jokeri Light Rail service and the Ring Rail Line. A location this fantastic at a public transport hub would have enabled even more efficient and denser construction and is positively screaming for a flexible parking solution, SATO President and CEO Saku Sipola points out.

Facts about Wise mobility city block project

A year ago, SATO signed an agreement with the rail transport company VR on the development and purchase of a city block owned by VR in Oulunkylä, Helsinki, following the completion of the local detailed plan by the city council. The buildings to be constructed in the new residential area will have a total of around 500 ARA-subsidised and Hitas homes as well as non-subsidised rental homes. There are currently nine residential apartment buildings built in the 1970s with a total of 155 homes on the site. Construction in the area will begin once the local detailed plan amendment has been completed, which is estimated to be in 2019. The current apartments will be demolished as they would require full refurbishment**.** HMV Architects Ltd is SATO's architect consultant in the local detailed plan amendment process taking place on the basis of the competition and the primary designer of two of the housing projects to be implemented in the competition area.

Images and presentation of the winning proposal "Autumn Sonnet":

For more information please contact:

Saku Sipola, President and CEO,, phone: +201 34 4001, +358 40 551 5953
Antti Aarnio, Vice President,, phone: +201 34 4200, +40 164 7052