For business purposes, Kruunuvuorenranta is truly a rare find. Located just three kilometres from Helsinki City Centre as the crow flies, this partly underdeveloped area offers plenty of opportunities for investors and businesses.
The seaside milieu of Kruunuvuorenranta is a spectacular blend of exceptional seaside views, untamed nature and rustic nationally important cultural environments with mansions. The estate tradition of the 19th century has a strong legacy here; the former oil docks, established in the 1920s, left a more industrial imprint.
Presently, Kruunuvuorenranta (Crown Mountain Beach) is poised to give commercial actors a real “royal treatment”.
Kruunuvuorenranta will be the “District of Light,” with numerous works of art which utilise light to be showcased on public premises, plots and buildings. It will also be highly accessible, with Helsinki City Centre only a 15-minute tram ride away, as the Crown Bridges will be built in mid-2020s.
According to the plans, there will about 800 jobs created in Kruunuvuorenranta, with business premises covering about 55,000 m2 of total floor space. In addition to basic services provided by the public and private sectors, a wide range of recreational and tourism-related services will be required for the up-and-coming neighbourhood.
The majority of services in Kruunuvuorenranta will be concentrated in what will become the centre of the area, Haakoninlahti. Situated on the opposite side of the shore from Katajanokka, Haakoninlahti will feature various types of city blocks and buildings, with a beach boulevard that has low-rise buildings by the shore and taller buildings further inland.
Presently, the City of Helsinki is engaged in arranging a plot-reservation round for the Kruunuvuorenranta centre. Kruunuvuorenranta centre will be a centre of commercial services (grocery shops, specialised stores, cafés, restaurants, daycare centre, etc, of 7,000 floor square metres) and housing of various blocks (13,000 floor square metres). Kruunuvuorenranta centre is being planned by a consortium of Finnish large construction and investment companies as well design companies.
Most business premises in Kruunuvuorenranta will be located in Kruunuvuorenranta centre and in Haakoninlahti area at ground level by the main streets, as well as in and around the shores. Across the street, a wide area is reserved for restaurants, cafés, boutiques and other commercial services. Sites are also allocated for small convenience stores and kiosks. The Haakoninlahti area will also accommodate a hotel hybrid with other functions as well.
Adjacent to these services will be a service centre with the main school, a sports hall, space for the young people and a large park for the inhabitants of Kruunuvuorenranta.
The master plan for the new neighbourhood is to offer both the inhabitants of the area and its visitors memorable experiences ranging from beach activities, boating and fishing to exercise and outdoor and cultural activities utilising the seaside.
Plans have been outlined for some business activities to take place, for instance, in the former loading platforms. Oil companies – previously active in the area – have left space for businesses underground: there is a fuel store of 300,000 cubic metres and a smaller storage area for dry goods, furnished with equipment for an automated storeroom. In fact, utilising the rich history of the area is a key tool in building a strong profile for the waterfront – and beyond.
Lease agreements on the Laajasalo oil terminal in Kruunuvuorenranta expired at the end of 2010. However, a few of the terminal’s oil silos have been retained as reminders of the area’s history.
Oil Silo 468 has been turned into a light artwork and an event venue. A total of 2012 openings were cut into the shell of the silo and fitted with mirrors that reflect the sun. As night falls, LED lights turn the silo into a continuously changing light artwork.
The silo interior – with nearly one thousand square metres of floor space – can also be used for various events. During dark hours, Oil Silo 468 glows across the bay in red and white, offering proof to Kruunuvuorenranta’s claim as “the City of Light”.
There are plans to turn one silo, located on top of a hill, into a sightseeing tower, and another silo (over 30 metres in diameter) into a public pavilion. Smaller silos could house kiosks and information stations. Ideas for new uses of the silos were formulated by students in a competition organised at Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture.