The Fertile Valley
Laajasalontie highway creates a chasm dividing Laajasalo in half – redefining the highway as a boulevard will mitigate some of the problems of traffic and its effects on living in the area, but not all – we propose a radical interpretation of the urban boulevard – rerouting the traffic of Laajasalontie by using and reinforcing the existing roads Kuvernöörintie and Isosaarentie, and linking these roads together with a new connection. This operation leaves the area of the Laajasalontie highway and its ramps completely free for development and the remaining changes in elevation present an opportunity for building a borough more connected to nature and the circulation of the city of Helsinki than before.
The primary forms of moving in the area are the tramline, with three stations servicing different sections, cycling and by foot. The cycling and pedestrian routes create a web of connections for the site and connect it to the city around. Vehicle traffic is routed along existing roads, with a new link between Kuvernöörintie and Isosaarentie, parking is situated when possible on the level of the old highway, below deck.
The massing and form of all the buildings are made so as to create a large-scale composition from afar, and provide moments of detail and surprise on the street level where people gather and move – especially in the Marina and the central squares of the Factory.
All housing blocks and areas are provided with additional joint spaces – workshop spaces – outside the housing buildings themselves. This way the possibility of flexible working solutions are enabled and collaborative projects by neighbours and friends made easier.
The overall plan aims to minimize the effect of vehicular traffic, while maximizing access and the flow of people in the central locations of the area. This is achieved by the placement of the tram stops and the urban public spaces in the area. For example the Factory stop is located so as to maximize the flow of people through the urban squares – to and from the tram stop to the Cultural facilities and the shopping centre, The proposal believes in creating intensities of people, places and facilities as the central goal for a productive urban environment.