The City of Helsinki

The City of Helsinki today announces a contest that invites proposals for the redevelopment of Makasiiniranta at South Harbour, the last old harbour area to be transformed for public use in Helsinki. The initial period for participant enrolment – intended for operators within the construction, architecture and land industry – covers a six-week timeframe, open until 21 June 2021, with the inclusion of a replacement site for the planning and architecture museum as an important aspect of the land use plan along the city’s shoreline.

Competition timeline:

Launch: Development consortiums which have the technical, economic and functional experience to plan and implement a demanding and high-quality construction project are invited to register for the competition by 21 June.

Phase 1: Approved participants will submit an idea for the world as a contest entry under a pseudonym by December 2021. Entries are going to be placed on public display.

Phase 2: a variety of the four best entries are going to be chosen in early 2022 as evaluated by the multidisciplinary panel. within the second phase competitors will prepare an extra developed planning entry.

Result: The winner are going to be announced in early autumn, to be granted a development reservation for further planning of the project.

South Harbour may be a central a part of Helsinki’s maritime and national landscape, and a valuable yet under-utilised asset for the town during a culture during which every Helsinkian lives but 10 kilometres from the ocean , the harbour mentality may be a crucial characteristic and advantage of life within the city, with access to the water credited as vitally significant for the population’s identity, wellbeing and vibrant lifestyle. The designated development area of over 83,000 sq m of waterfront land is currently used for the Port’s terminal operations and parking, which is to be relocated from the town centre.

The launch of the planning competition to develop Makasiiniranta at South Harbour comes at an important time for global cities emerging from the pandemic as urban planners are challenged to strategically reimagine how public space are going to be best designed and utilised within the future, with a newly-informed appreciation for the health effects of green and blue areas.

Helsinki’s existing relationship to liveable design is at the forefront of public services, urban environments, cultural spaces and therefore the empowerment of communities, underpinned by a big commitment to realising a sustainable urban structure and becoming carbon neutral by 2035. For a neighborhood of national significance and value for Helsinki, it’s imperative that a land use plan for Makasiiniranta activates and enlivens the seafront, creating high-quality attractive new public realm, cultural amenities and architectural layers, while better integrating into the pedestrianised city centre’s urban fabric and overall vision.

Intended as a replacement cultural heart of Helsinki, competition plans are to permit for the creation of an internationally prominent architecture and style museum complex, which can merge the 2 existing museums – the Museum of Finnish Architecture and therefore the Design Museum – across a neighborhood tentatively set to 9,000 sq m. Further leisure uses can also be planned for the waterfront destination, including a hotel, retail space, restaurants and walkable public realm.

The competition has been conceived with variety of designing principles stipulated to guard the character of the maritime facade and key sightlines within the town , including the Helsinki Cathedral and Uspenski Cathedral. The competition area extends from the northern fringe of the Market Square’s Cholera Basin to the side of Olympia Terminal, following the old railway shaft to the northern corner of Kaivopuisto. Several buildings of serious conservation value are located within the design area, including the Old Market Hall, the oldest market hall in Finland which opened in 1889, Satamatalo, and Olympia Terminal designed for the 1952 Summer Olympics, all of which are to be preserved and respectfully reconceived within the masterplan.

The Makasiiniranta competition is being led by the town of Helsinki, with a multidisciplinary evaluation jury consisting of governmental representatives and impartial design experts, including Kees Christiaanse of KCAP. Within the primary phase of the competition, entrants will submit an idea by December 2021, which can be considered by the panel before a shortlist of the four best competitors are going to be invited because the second phase to organize a full project masterplan by June 2022.

The winning design and implementation plan are going to be announced in autumn 2022, with the successful development and architecture consortium then liable for the functional, economic and technical realisation of the concept within the subsequent years. A separate architecture competition for the planning and architecture museum are going to be launched following the choice of a development partner to rework Makasiiniranta.

Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki, said: “Cities evolve in response to cultural, societal, technological and economic shifts through time. Every generation should have the chance to enhance the town they sleep in and therefore the transformation of this final a part of South Harbour will integrate the guts of the town with access to the ocean and archipelago, which are special characteristics of Helsinki’s identity. As this global pandemic has upended how we use public spaces and facilities, it’s an appropriate and important time to seem ahead and make a long-term foundation for all future Helsinkians that creates best public use of a major piece of the city’s seafront and to offer it the prominence it deserves.

Hanna Harris, Chief Design Officer at the town of Helsinki, added: “This may be a significant moment for urban development and therefore the competition provides a canvas for brand spanking new ideas, spatial uses, and style solutions which will improve the town of Helsinki on a long-term and sustainable basis. we’ve the chance to reassess and redefine what our city and its residents need because the absolute best conditions for urban life, offering an area that prioritises accessibility for all. High-quality architecture and well-planned public spaces are essential, and that we anticipate to uncovering new possibilities for our city that balance Helsinki’s rich cultural and national heritage with innovative new uses.”

Rikhard Manninen, Head of Urban Planning Division at the town of Helsinki, commented: “The Makasiiniranta competition follows recent years of strategic planning for Helsinki to develop the attractiveness and and vitality of the town centre, to enable a far better urban life for residents and visitors. it’s vital that this prime a part of “> a part of Helsinki and its access to the ocean become an active part of the town in future years and that we are committed to realising plans for the location while upholding our carbon-neutral goals for the town .”

Kaarina Gould, Project Director for the new Architecture and style Museum, said: “The creation of a culturally intensive site which may be a s centrally-located and nationally relevant as Makasiiniranta is a turning point for Helsinki. The last year has been a catalyst for the work that lies ahead for cultural institutions, and that we are encouraged by support for the humanities to hold forward this chance to understand a replacement district centred round the new architecture and style museum and Finland’s design legacy.”

For further information on the competition, including the competition criteria, please visit the website:

Registration information for the introductory webinar (27th May 2021) is out there here:


Type : Competition Announcement (Built Projects & Masterplans)

Website :

Organizers : City of Helsinki

Registration Deadline : June 21, 2021 12:00 PM

Submission Deadline : December 10, 2021 12:00 PM

Price : Free

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