What is whimsical? Whimsical refers to something amusing, mischievous, playful and fantastic. Just like Kaijonharju should be in the future! Today the design area represents a typical functionalistic city structure. The university facilities, commercial services, housing, and offices have been strictly separated from each other. We propose “function belts” of university facilities, commercial services, and recreation weaving together the districts of Kaijonharju and Oulu University. Conceptual function belts meet and cross each other in the central blocks of the design area resulting in a merged city structure. Interesting urban spaces and a mixed use solution on different levels. Mixed use hot spots of urban life and activities complement the network of whimsical urban space and structure.
Key elements of the Whimsical Village:
- An important urban axial space stretches from the University towards lake Pyykkösjärvi beach and the city centre. This axis is also a lively pedestrian and public transport (tram) artery with many services and urban qualities.
- A new kind of tilted angle is introduced to distinguish the new whimsical neighborhood that ties together and livens up the more rigid existing districts of Kaijonharju and Oulu University.
- New university facilities form a prominent new facade and public space towards Erkki Koiso-Kanttila street. University functions reach across the street to a productive hub including test labs and show rooms for students and startups.
- The extensive network of public spaces, commercially operated semi public spaces and campus courtyards is highlighted with hot spots of productive city activities.
- An attractive and productive recreational network, including a significant central park, reinterprets existing elements such as the forests and lakesides. The green network is in transition from wilderness in the north to an urban and landscaped milieu towards the south.
- Housing solutions vary from small scale row house typologies to apartment buildings up to eight floors. Residents have communal and productive outdoor areas.
- Existing housing units and courtyards are complemented with new buildings and penthouse solutions.
- Excellent access to public transport from all blocks allows for car free central areas.
- Pedestrian friendly pathways cut through the area.
- Multifunctional parking buildings are accessible via Yliopistonkatu both from the north and south.