Espoo-Plaza

City Hall and City Centre of Espoo

Matteo Cainer Architects Ltd · Espoo-Plaza
Matteo Cainer Architects Ltd

This proposal for the new Espoo city centre transforms a physically fragmented city, where neighbour-hoods are isolated by sporadic growth and an extensive and intrusive network of major roads, into a harmonious relationship between built-form and the landscape, centred on a public plaza that adapts for seasonal use.

Matteo Cainer Architects Ltd · Espoo-Plaza
Matteo Cainer Architects Ltd

This is achieved through a planning strategy that focuses on revitalizing the symbolic city centre through the addition of a number of new physical connections to existing public buildings and outlying neighbourhoods. These pedestrian axes, arranged in a radial pattern, act as visual corridors that lead to the major public plaza, connecting the city centre with distant commercial developments. The axes break the orthogonal geometry of the existing buildings creating an informal and dynamic arrangement. Linking these roads with a new pedestrian bridge across the highway integrates the strategically placed mixed-use public buildings that activate and encourage these connections.

In addition to the main axes, the extended network of streets and paths encourage pedestrians and bike riders to move around the city more freely. The concept is to enhance and revitalise the retained buildings and provide added opportunities for their reuse. Mixed-use development is promoted, so that areas of the city remain active throughout the day and provide a symbolic and recognizable group of open and accessible public buildings.

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