Bikes, cafés and culture to revive Helsinki bay

by Kim Megson | 23 Nov 2015

Two architecture studios have revealed their plans to bring hospitality, sport and culture to Helsinki’s Töölönlahti Bay; regenerating the area as a large-scale public space.

Danish designers COBE and Finnish firm Lundén Architecture have worked alongside Helsinki branding company N2 to visualise a new development scheme for the 40,000sq m bay (430,500sq ft). Their proposal includes a new waterside promenade, several pedestrian and bicycle routes, and a recreational and cultural citizens park. Visitors will be able to sail in the bay during summer and ice skate in winter.

Due to a low level of water circulation and the high amounts of industrial waste once pumped into the bay by factories, the swamp-like water is currently unsafe to swim in.

To counter this, the architects want to enlist water company Terramare Boskalis to replicate the purification of Copenhagen’s central harbour area in the 1990s – which accelerated regeneration of the Danish capital.

“Töölönlahti bay is a forgotten pearl in the heart of Helsinki and we want to give it back to the people,” said COBE founder and creative director Dan Stubbergaard. “Through a comprehensive and ambitious water purification plan, the currently polluted bay will become Helsinki’s main central urban space. People from all over the city will swim in the water, sunbathe in the summer sun and drink evening coffee along the promenade.”

Stubbergaard added that restaurants, cafés, a hotel and housing will be created around the bay if the plans get the green light. He said these developments would help connect the bay area to Helsinki’s surrounding neighbourhoods and help cement the city’s status as a leisure destination.

Eero Lundén, director of Lundén Architecture, said: “We want to create a new citizens park for all of Helsinki, but our new vision is just as much about enhancing the existing qualities and conditions in the city as it is about introducing new programmes and public spaces.”

The architectural duo have enlisted construction company Rambøll Finland to plan the engineering aspects of the project.

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Two architecture studios have revealed their plans to bring hospitality, sport and culture to Helsinki’s Töölönlahti Bay; regenerating the area as a large-scale public space. Danish designers COBE and Finnish firm Lundén Architecture have worked alongside Helsinki branding company N2 to visualise a new development scheme for the 40,000sq m bay (430,500sq ft). Their proposal includes a new waterside promenade, several pedestrian and bicycle routes, and a recreational and cultural
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Sport and leisure activities will be at the heart of the regeneration plans / COBE
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