3 / 2012 - public space, Helsinki design

The events of the World Design Capital year have activated Helsinki’s urban spaces. Architect and researcher Mikko Mälkki contemplates their use. A public space works when it enables interaction between people. Urban sociologist Pasi Mäenpää has lost his faith in the architect’s ability to design places of contact. “The most intensive public spaces are vehicles of transportation where places turn into landscapes and speed stripes and people are forced to face strangers,” he says in his column. Anthropologist Eeva Berglund reveals the intriguing and irritating aspects of design. According to Berglund, the concept of spacious design with its vagueness is connected to the urban politics of our times, where cities fight for the realms of cozy togetherness and innovation economy.

The small wooden chapel in Kamppi in the midst of mundane bustle has raised a lot of interest. Critic Paula Holmila perceives the chapel as contrasts: “Noise versus silence, the hard corners of the stone city versus soft round shapes, obscurity versus glare...” The most recent public space in the city centre is also reviewed by architects Anni Vartola and Ville Riikonen. The architecture presented in the issue repeat round shapes, which seems to be one of the new trends.

Is Finnish architecture facing reformation? An architecture critic, construction supervisor, eco-construction expert and urban planner discuss the situation.


architects Daniel Bruun, Jussi Murole, Liisa Ilveskorpi, Arto Kaituri, Kai Gulin, Matti Juntunen
address Aurinkolahti, Vuosaari, Helsinki
floor area 3,5 ha
completion 2010

review Mari Jaakonaho

Näköislehti: Site Logic