The proposals submitted for the architectural competition for Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio are now ready. Residents will be able to view and comment on the competition entries on the ‘Voice your opinion’ service until 4 April 2021. The comments will be utilised in the evaluation of the competition entries.
The redevelopment of Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio is part of a larger renewal of Helsinki city centre and the surroundings of the Central Railway Station. The aim of this renewal is to strengthen the status of the city centre as an attractive business centre and a notable Finnish workplace area where people can meet each other and spend time. As part of the renewal, the aim is to turn the Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio area into a pleasant and vibrant part of the pedestrian city centre with a broad range of services. The redevelopment project will significantly improve the functionality of the Elielinaukio and Asema-aukio area especially from the perspective of pedestrians and cyclists.
The architectural competition included a prequalification process, based on which a number of international design groups were invited to participate. The competition was organised as an invitational one due to the notability of the site and to ensure that the proposals are of sufficiently high quality. One of the criteria considered in the prequalification was the balance between international and domestic know-how.
The competition entries can be commented on until 4 April 2021 on the ‘Voice your opinion’ service at kerrokantasi.hel.fi/elielinaukionkilpailu. The received comments will be taken into account in the evaluation of the competition entries.
The competition entries will be evaluated based on the quality of urban space, functionality and feasibility. The valuable historical character of the area must be taken into account in the redevelopment, and the elevation of the new buildings to be constructed should align with the surrounding buildings.
The planning principles for the area were approved by the Urban Environment Committee in November 2020. The aim is to prepare a new local detailed plan for the area based on the winning solution. The winning competition entry can be further developed as the project progresses by taking into account ideas brought up in public feedback, for example.
If no single winner can be selected based on the first phase of the competition, a second phase will be organised for the winners of the first phase. The design groups selected to participate in the second phase of the competition will be given the opportunity to refine their competition entries. The estimated start time of the potential second phase would be July–August 2021.
The competition is being organised by Elielinaukion kehitys Oy in collaboration with the City of Helsinki. Elielinaukion kehitys Oy is a fully Finnish development company formed by the area’s property owners: Ilmarinen, OP-Vuokratuotto, VR, SOK, Exilion Real Estate and Evata Partners, which specialises in property development and investments.
The progress of the competition can also be followed on the website neweliel.fi, where updates will be published.