The City of Turku in Finland has launched an open international contest to rethink the area surrounding its historic 740-year-old castle
The call for concepts – supported by the Finnish Association of Architects and the Finnish Association of Landscape Architects – seeks a phased vision to redevelop the historic waterfront area known as Linnanniemi which surrounds the 13th-century landmark.
The project will deliver a mix of new commercial and tourism uses and public spaces – including a new Museum of History and the Future – on the cape on the West Bank of the Aura River Delta, which will be freed up for development following the reorganisation of existing ferry terminals in 2025. A €220,000 prize fund will be shared between the top entries.
City mayor Minna Arve said: ‘We are holding an international planning competition for the area comprising Turku Castle, its surroundings and the western bank of the mouth of the Aura River in order to find a comprehensive overall idea as well as versatile and open-minded development options for this historically and culturally important area.
‘The Linnanniemi of the future will be a hub of year-round urban culture, where you can simultaneously experience history, the sea and the most beautiful archipelago in the world. People are attracted there not only by the castle but also the wide range of services, the outdoor recreation areas extending to the shore, the various maritime functions and the future Museum of History and the Future.’
Turku is the oldest city in Finland and was the country’s principal settlement until Helsinki was made the capital in 1812. Turku Castle occupies a key waterfront site overlooking the entrance by river to the city and is surrounded by several ferry terminals and other port buildings.
The competition seeks ‘sustainable, high-quality and versatile’ proposals to transform the large Linnanniemi area into a landmark new gateway for the historic city. Schemes will be expected to integrate the sea, the surrounding archipelago, and the city’s maritime heritage.
Concepts will be judged on response to the brief; quality of cityscape, scenery and architecture; respect for the historical value of the castle; innovation; diversity of functions; overall vision; technical and economic feasibility, and attention to sustainability.
Judges will include city mayor Minna Arve, city architect Nella Karhulahti, and the managing director of the Port of Turku Erik Söderholm. The overall winner, to be announced in June, will receive an €80,000 prize while a second prize of €60,000 and third prize of €40,000 will also be awarded along with two additional prizes worth €20,000 each.
Submissions may be in Finnish or English. The deadline for applications is 3pm local time, 21 April.
How to apply
Tel: +358 (0)40 539 0625