North climate is fierce. It is very understandable in that climate how comfortable shopping malls are. But outside in a city structure a big shopping mall is problematic. På Gränsen -mall in Tornio-Haparanda twin city is on the boarder and it is connecting city centers to each other in theory. Actually it creates its own center inside the building. This proposal connects existing mall and becoming Barents Center to its surroundings by the Park Deck . Green areas on river side works as a buffer zone for big events like new year or midsummer or local celebrations.
New city blocks take inspiration from old nordic wood cities. Yards are closed by buildings and fences which creates micro climates inside blocks. Blocks on river side take shape from old traditional courtyard in Tornio. It is open to the river because it is important to see who is coming from there. New buildings are made of wood and they also are inspired by traditional architecture. Block structure allows old moved and re-built buildings from Tornio and Haparanda surroundings. Old buildings create a artificial layer to new structure. They are not only decoration but an interesting platform to special industries, like building conservation.
The scale of new blocks is higher close by existing city center and it gets smaller close by river. There is small huts on the river
bank which are almost top of the water On Haparanda side the residential blocks are high by E4 road and they create a wall to small scale blocks behind.
Pedestrian accessibility and new routes are in a core of this proposal. People can cross the boarder under or above the deck park. Through new city blocks goes a secondary pedestrian route towards north-south. A street from Tornio museum and art museum to river will be changed to living street. Only service traffic and habitants cars are allowed.
The biggest disconnection element in the competition area is the E4. Nowadays it is separating the city structure from the river. It is important to change highway to a city boulevard and make the disconnection element to a connecting element. The very first step is to lower the speed limit from the bridge to Haparanda side and add crossing streets from city center. They give a possibility to turn from E4 and stop by in Tornio. It is also important to make the road look like a street: tree rows and sidewalks tell that E4 is located in city center.