The competition entry designed by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (LMA) and headed by the real estate development company Aalto Development Oy has been awarded the shared 2nd prize in the Makasiiniranta quality and concept competition.
The competition area is centrally located at the South Harbour of Helsinki City. The entry consists of new buildings and underground spaces, a maritime boardwalk, as well as the subtle renovation of the Olympic Terminal. Besides LMA and Aalto Development, the competition team consists of the built environment planning and consulting company Sitowise and the landscape architect office Näkymä.
The name "Boardwalk" refers to a promenade built on the water's edge. As the name suggests, the proposal opens up a new pedestrian connection that, with its many side streets, will meander from the Market Square all the way to Kaivopuisto.
The proposal combines holistic architecture, flexible and long-term conceptual thinking, and a range of spaces and services that ensure a vibrant urban life. The outdoor spaces have been carefully designed, bearing in mind the realities of the Finnish climate. On the other hand, the shape of the new buildings framing the waterfront and the spaces between them provide sheltered coves and recesses for people to spend time in.
The architectural expression is strong. Boardwalk rises above the mundane and breaks away from the formal language of soulless office and commercial buildings. The proposal respects the special character of the South Harbour, giving the historic buildings of the surrounding area the space they deserve. Boardwalk will ensure unobstructed views from both the Tähtitorninmäki and the buildings on Eteläranta towards Helsinki's seaside façade.
The area's side streets, squares, grand stairways and rooftop terraces will attract people to stop and spend time together. The whole is unforgettable and creates a unique identity for Makasiiniranta.
Open spaces and diverse services make this possible. Boardwalk meets the challenge by bringing to the area a wealth of indoor public spaces, numerous restaurants and boutiques, an Event Hub, a wellness spa, a top-class hotel, and multi-purpose workspaces. This vast complex is an excellent setting for all kinds of urban life: to relax, meet, learn, create, eat and also rest.
At Makasiiniranta, the city lives from dawn to dusk – and through the night to a new dawn.