‘Saaret’ Wins International Competition to Develop Makasiiniranta Shoreline
Images: City of Helsinki / Consortium Gran
The entry ‘Saaret’ by the Consortium Gran team has won the international quality and concept competition to develop the Makasiiniranta area in Helsinki’s South Harbour. The jury found the winning entry creditable in terms of cityscape and architecture, and a balanced extension to Helsinki’s maritime downtown area.
In May 2021, the City of Helsinki launched a competition to find a partner to develop the Makasiiniranta area in the South Harbour. The area will be developed as part of the pedestrian city centre and the seaside trail around the shores of Helsinki, and as the location for the New Museum of Architecture & Design.
The winning entry is ‘Saaret’ by the Consortium Gran team (Niam, K2S Architects, White Arkitekter, Ramboll Finland, Rakennuttajatoimisto HTJ Oy). The winner was selected from among the four entries that made it to the competition’s second stage.
“Our main goal is to make Makasiiniranta a valuable maritime area for recreation for both locals and visitors. Residents’ participation and public discussion during the various stages of the competition have been a key part of the competition and the jury’s work,” says Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, praising the residents’ involvement.
View to the South Harbour and the historic centre of Helsinki over the Makasiiniranta area.
Due to the valuable nature and cultural and historical context of the target area, the competition was highly demanding. The competitors were tasked with resolving how to reconcile new construction with the valuable environment and how the future looks for the protected buildings in the area – the Old Market Hall, the Olympia Terminal and the Satamatalo building.
The plan also needed to figure out how to turn the area into an attractive and functional one and how the maritime area opening up from the shore will look, with its seaside trail. With regard to Helsinki’s carbon neutrality targets, the solution had to be based on climate-smart and sustainable construction methods.
The winning entry selected by the jury, ‘Saaret’, was considered creditable in terms of cityscape and architecture. It also makes a balanced extension to Helsinki’s maritime centre. The winning entry respects the historical values and cultural environment of the area while also bringing a new unique layer to the national landscape.
New Museum of Architecture & Design will attract locals and visitors to Makasiiniranta
The winning entry was seen to have the advantage of connecting to the city structure of the surrounding districts of Kaartinkaupunki, Ullanlinna and Kaivopuisto. Furthermore, it cleverly emphasises the views opening up to the landmarks and maritime scenery of the city centre. The plan includes high-quality landscape architecture and intertwines with other parts of the area, introducing new public outdoor spaces for people to enjoy.
Makasiiniranta will have a pleasant set of coastal squares to complement the seaside trail around Helsinginniemi cape. Laivasillankatu street will become an urban street space with squares and views opening up to Uspenski Cathedral and the Baltic Sea.
“The winner has a balanced functional concept. The restaurant, commercial and office premises and the hotel included in the new construction and the cultural venues planned for the protected Satamatalo and Olympia Terminal buildings will make the area attractive. Once the New Museum of Architecture & Design is built, Makasiiniranta will attract even more locals and visitors to the area. Makasiiniranta will become more closely connected to the city centre. The winning plan will create a busy and pleasant maritime area on the shores of the South Harbour,” Mayor Vartiainen states.
Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki
Once the New Museum of Architecture & Design is built, Makasiiniranta will attract even more locals and visitors to the area. Makasiiniranta will become more closely connected to the city centre.
The New Museum of Architecture & Design will combine the existing specialized museums, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum, in Makasiiniranta. A separate design competition will be organised for the museum building. The plan is to launch the competition once the decision on the museum’s realisation is made in 2023.
“It is wonderful to see that the development of the future surroundings of the museum is progressing. The collaboration with the City of Helsinki has been constructive throughout the Makasiiniranta quality and concept competition. We will continue the close dialogue with the City of Helsinki and the winning team in order to find optimal solutions for the surroundings of the museum. I see many synergy opportunities in the 'Saaret' entry. It is a pleasure to work on these things concretely at the same time as we are preparing to launch the design competition for the museum building,” said Kaarina Gould, Project Director and CEO of the Foundation for the Finnish Museum of Architecture and Design.
The location of the New Museum of Architecture & Design appears as a translucent volume. A separate design competition will be organised for the museum building.