There’s a story that Swedish King Gustav III planted an oak tree in a field near Vantaa River, while visiting the eastern part of his kingdom at the end of 18th century. Today, that oak tree still stands – and has given a name to a brand new neighbourhood in Northwest Helsinki: Kuninkaantammi means “King’s oak” in Finnish. What’s more, also the very first settlements in the entire Helsinki area are located right here, in Kaarela. The new district is looking into the future, as well. By the year 2025, Kuninkaantammi will feature 5,500 residents and 1,000 jobs.
The construction in Kuninkaantammi started in 2013 with pre-construction efforts. Residential construction kicked off in 2015. Presently, the area, totalling 120 hectares, is going through major change as streets, municipal infrastructure and parks are being realised in unison with residential construction. There are already over 800 people living here and more arriving all the time.
In 2018, almost 250 new apartments were completed, with hundreds of more following in early 2019. A good share of the new buildings will be made of wood: for example, in the upcoming Etelärinne and Lammenranta areas, all buildings will be made of wood (both apartment buildings and terraced houses). Eventually, around one third of the local residents will enjoy wooden housing.
One of the local wood apartment buildings was, in fact, a finalist in the national wood construction competition in 2018.
Wood construction as well as high energy efficiency are examples of Helsinki’s ‘Climate Wisdom’ which is a new philosophy aimed at reducing CO2 emissions in emerging communities. Also, green-roofing is the norm for single-storey houses in the neighbourhood. In addition, Kuninkaantammi is a pioneer in storm water management and innovative use of excavation rock in local landfills.
Kuninkaantammi is designed to have a vibrant, active heart: Kuninkaantammi Square in the centre of the community will feature a school, a daycare centre and various stores with street-level access. There will also be various business/office premises in the intersection of the two main streets, Kuninkaantammenkierto and Taidemaalarinkatu, Along the two streets, there will be buildings with 4-5 storeys; the pedestrian routes will feature 2-3 storey buildings.
The local mindset is decidedly pedestrian-friendly and parking is mostly handled via underground or deck solutions.
A temporary daycare centre kicked off in August 2018, while the permanent daycare centre is included in the City’s 2021-2022 investment programme.
Located right next to the Helsinki’s 100-hectare Central Park, Kuninkaantammi will feature her very own parks, too. In the middle of the neighbourhood, a park by the name of Taidemaalarinpuisto will be realised, featuring e.g. urban farming plots. There will also be a public beach and picnic grounds by the Palettilampi pond. The southern part of the area will feature a new park – Helene Schjerfbeck Park – that deploys stormwater management solutions, such as reservoirs and wetlands.
Kuninkaantammi’s public transportation is anchored by the west-east core bus line 560 which links the area to Ring Rail at Vantaa’s Myyrmäki (5 minutes away) as well as connects with Helsinki’s eastern city districts.