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.
Editorial | Urban Threshold
Studio Interview | Harris-Kjisik – Standing Up for the Ideals
Private Public Private
Antti Auvinen, Kristian Äijö
Excursions into Suburban Density
Anssi Joutsiniemi, Franz Oswald, Mari Vaattovaara
Megaprojects – A Recipe for Success?
What's Happening to Our Cities?
→ Central Library Oodi, Helsinki
Article| Ode to Everything
Viewpoint | Toward a Future Architecture?
→ Ratina Commercial Centre, Tampere
B&M Architects, Tuomo Siitonen Architects
Commentary | The Urban Patch
→ Airut Block, Helsinki
Sauerbruch Hutton, Optiplan
Interview with | Carlos Alarcón Allen
→ Trekoli Senior Housing, Pori
Architects Rudanko + Kankkunen
Interview with | Hilla Rudanko, Anssi Kankkunen
New Take on the Wooden Tradition
→ HOAS Kumpula Student Housing, Helsinki
Interview with | Tuukka Vuori, Veikko Ojanlatva
Within the Limits
Column | Cities for People – With People
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)