Embrace the border

Tornio-Haparanda

From Functionalist Infrastructures to Productive City

CATEGORY: urban / architectural
TEAM REPRESENTATIVE: architect
LOCATION: Tornio-Haparanda
POPULATION: 32 500
PROJECT SITE: 24 ha
SITE PROPOSED BY: Tornio-Haparanda twin city
OWNERS OF THE SITE: City of Tornio, ELY center of Lapland, Orthodox parish of Lapland, City of Haparanda
COMMISSION AFTER COMPETITION: urban study

Tornio in Finland and Haparanda in Sweden have received international recognition for their cooperation and interaction while planning projects which unite the twin city. The development and construction of the joint center has been ongoing for 20 years and the process continues with Europan 14. The aim of the competition is to create unique and compelling urban content for the prestigious shoreline area shared by the two cities.

Tornio and Haparanda are developing their city centers to become one commercial and functional entity. The project site at the south end of Suensaari island and the north end of Haparanda downtown is important and visible in the urban structure. It holds potential to unite the two cities, yet it is mainly unbuilt and underutilised now.

The site is split in half by the busy highway E4. It is an extremely busy border crossing between Finland and Sweden with 14 million annual crossings. The whole area is currently affected by the noise and traffic of the highway.

The objective is to find ideas to connect the project site to both cities. The competitors are asked to propose functional and urban ideas for the area such as buildings for travel, recreational uses and housing. The scale and nature of the highway needs to be studied as well – how to make it a productive street.