Building new connections


From City to Productive City

CATEGORY: urban / architectural
TEAM: Representative: architect
LOCATION: Oulu Kaijonharju
POPULATION: Oulu 200 000, Kaijonharju 18 000
SITE PROPOSED BY: City of Oulu, Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS), University Properties of Finland (SYK)
COMMISSION AFTER COMPETITION: urban study, potential building design commission by PSOAS

Oulu, also known as a city of technology, is the largest city in northern Finland and the fastest growing metropolitan area in Scandinavia. Oulu’s population of 200 000 is the youngest in Finland. The city strategy is to make Kaijonharju-Linnanmaa district a vibrant and diverse part of the urban fabric. Kaijonharju will have good public transportation and bicycle connections to the center and the city has also prepared to build a new tram line there in the future.

From City to Productive City

At the end of the 1960’s the University of Oulu was moved to Linnanmaa, 5 km outside the city center. An architectural competition was arranged in 1967 to design the campus and a new neighbourhood center of Kaijonharju next to it. In the winning entry, the university was intended to form a vibrant entity with Kaijonharju and its urban facilities. The area didn’t, however, develop as proposed in the competition. Today the housing area and university are two secluded, monofunctional areas with poor connections between them. The objective is to densify and diversify the areas, bring in new services and small businesses and to build new connections. The goal is to make Kaijonharju an attractive, 24h urban district.

Implementation process

The competition is organized by the City of Oulu in collaboration with Europan Finland. The intention of the city is to give a commission to the winner/s at the level of urban planning. The commission will be to develop the ideas of the competition proposal further and to work with the city and the local residents to build a new urban identity for the area. The city will make a detailed plan for the area based on the competition results.

Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS) will potentially give a building design commission to one of the awarded teams.