The City of Helsinki has launched an open international contest for a major new ‘Airport Park’ on the site of a former airport
Open to teams featuring landscape architects, the competition seeks ‘innovative, inspiring, and practically, technically and financially feasible’ proposals for a new green open space to replace parts of Malmi Airport which is due to be fully redeveloped by the 2040s as a new mixed-use development on the north east fringes of the Finnish capital.
The Lentoasemanpuisto, or Airport Park, will form the centrepiece of the emerging ‘Malmin Kenttä’ district which has been masterplanned to feature a series of green corridors. Proposals must respond to the existing landscape including the former runways, create a strong identity for the park, introduce new biotopes, reflect local cultural and historical values, and create connections between new green spaces and the surrounding built environment.
According to the brief: ‘The City of Helsinki is organising an open, international ideas competition regarding plans for Lentoasemanpuisto in the former Malmi Airport area, known as the Malmin kenttä area. The purpose of the competition is to find innovative, inspiring and practically, technically and financially feasible suggestions for the design of Lentoasemanpuisto.
‘The park will function as the central public space for the Malmin kenttä area and is of great importance for the overall identity of the district. Lentoasemanpuisto should also become a new destination for recreation in the city, attracting people from all over Helsinki. The challenge in designing Lentoasemanpuisto lies in combining its rich cultural heritage, natural and ecological values and versatility in function. Furthermore, the park should be distinctive, unique, recognisable and of high quality.’
Helsinki is Finland’s most populous city with more than 640,000 residents. The city and surrounding region are a major tech hub featuring many globally leading businesses including consumer electronics giant Nokia. Earlier this year, the City of Helsinki has launched a contest – with a €1 million prize – for ideas to decarbonise its district heating system.
The latest competition, organised in cooperation with the Finnish Association of landscape architects, seeks ideas for a landmark new Airport Park in a suburban area on edge of the capital. The new public space is part of a redevelopment masterplan backed by the City of Helsinki which plans to transform the historic Malmi Airport into a new neighbourhood with green connections to surrounding settlements.
Malmi Airport opened in the 1930s as Finland’s first international airport and features a distinctive circular terminal building and a technically innovative aircraft hangar. The airport is no longer used for international commercial flights and hosted an Ed Sheeran concert last year. A temporary use plan will see the airport transformed into a meadow and outdoor recreation area over the next ten years.
The Malmin Kenttä redevelopment masterplan has been highlighted by the Finnish section of the international DoCoMoMo Workgroup and Europa Nostra which previously described the airport as one of the seven most endangered cultural heritage sites in Europe.
The overall winner, to be announced in spring 2021, will receive a €40,000 top prize while a second prize of €20,000, third prize of €15,000 and two additional purchases worth €2,000 each will also be awarded. The competition language is English and the deadline for applications is 4pm local time on 6 November.
How to apply
City of Helsinki