1/2019 Urbanity

Globally expanding cities are changing our understanding of urbanism and urbanity. Today, most Finns spend their entire lives in environments shaped by urbanism, which has also grown our expectations regarding the quality of urban culture and life in general.

What exactly is the urbanism or the ideal of urban life that appears in the visions and plans of Finnish cities? The issue contemplates the current urban centres and shopping mall projects, the design guidelines of urban spaces, and high-rise building, among other things. Currently, for example new urban centres and residential neighbourhoods drawing inspiration from the external features of traditional older cities, are under construction. At the same time, the vocabulary of urban discussions still includes more traditional words like marketplace, square, street and block.

The projects presented in the issue can be looked at as different cases of urban infill. Helsinki Central Library Oodi occupies the last plot available at Töölönlahti Bay, whereas Ratina Commercial Centre expands the city centre of Tampere. Airut Block in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki represents a new urban block typology. Student housing in Kumpula, Helsinki occupies a cramped block in the university campus and Trekoli, a wooden apartment building for seniors, tries to fit into an existing, traditional wooden townscape in Kuukkari, Pori.


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Editorial | Urban Threshold
Mika Savela


Studio Interview | Harris-Kjisik – Standing Up for the Ideals
Mika Savela

Private Public Private
Antti Auvinen, Kristian Äijö

Excursions into Suburban Density
Anssi Joutsiniemi, Franz Oswald, Mari Vaattovaara

Megaprojects – A Recipe for Success?
Jenni Partanen

What's Happening to Our Cities?
Sari Viertiö


Central Library Oodi, Helsinki
ALA Architects

Article| Ode to Everything
Essi Oikarinen

Viewpoint | Toward a Future Architecture?
Lee Marable

Ratina Commercial Centre, Tampere
B&M Architects, Tuomo Siitonen Architects

Commentary | The Urban Patch
Kasmir Jolma

Airut Block, Helsinki
Sauerbruch Hutton, Optiplan

Interview with | Carlos Alarcón Allen
Green Beginnings

→ Trekoli Senior Housing, Pori
Architects Rudanko + Kankkunen

Interview with | Hilla Rudanko, Anssi Kankkunen
New Take on the Wooden Tradition

HOAS Kumpula Student Housing, Helsinki
Playa Architects

Interview with | Tuukka Vuori, Veikko Ojanlatva
Within the Limits


Column | Cities for People – With People
Johanna Palomäki


Ulf Meyer et al.: Architectural Guide: Helsinki Espoo
Tyler Brûlé et al.: The Monocle Travel Guide Series 35: Helsinki (Marianna Heikinheimo)

Hennu Kjisik, Charlotte Nyholm & Sofia de Vocht (toim.): Harris-Kjisik Architects. Doughnuts to Muffins. 30 Years of Urban Planning (Mika Savela)

Jan Gehl: Ihmisten kaupunki (orig. Cities for People) (Tommy Kaj Lindgren)