An architecture competition was arranged during 2020 to find a new direction for the Kontula shopping centre. The competition was organised by the organisations that own the buildings and premises in the shopping centre area, among them the City of Helsinki
The competition concerning the development of the buildings and the cityscape in the area started at the end of February. The purpose of the competition was to find a workable overall plan for the area, whose ideas can form the basis when the city starts preparing the local detailed plan. The competition was arranged to figure out the development possibilities and the extent of the reshaping. The ideas can be used in the planning process, either entirely or partly.
Five architecture firms were invited to enter the competition. As a result, the organisers wanted to see high-quality ideas for the cityscape, which would also be technically and economically sound. The city of Helsinki participated in the arrangements through the real estate companies that it owns, as an expert in the award jury, as a landowner and by offering raw data of the city space in the area to the competitors.
The competition winner was announced on September 4th at he community centre Luuppi in Kontula. The winning entry is called Vaellus and it was created by Opus Architectture, landscaping was by Nomaji and technical design by Ramboll Finland. Honorary mentions were awarded to entries called Pioneria, by Aarti Ollila Ristola Architects, and Remix, by JKMM Architects.
The jury stated that the winner Vaellus is a high-quality design with potential for development, that has taken values important to the area into consideration. The winner represents high-class urban architecture and is a versatile, fresh and carefully thought-out design, that respects the identity and scale of the area as well as takes carbon neutrality goals into consideration.
The centre of Kontula is a growing local centre, which will be developed into an increasingly compact and diverse neighbourhood centre. The centre and the shopping centre are located at the junction of the metro and the planned Jokeri 2 Light Rail. The area has diverse services, the premises of the shopping centre are well utilised and there are lively association and culture activities in the area.
Inaugurated in 1967, the Kontula shopping centre is Finland's largest open space shopping centre. The lively shopping centre offers daily commercial services, such as three large grocery stores and two pharmacies, hair salons, a florist, an Alko, a cobbler, a driving school and a swimming hall. The shopping centre has many public services, such as a health station, a library and a youth centre.