A breath of fresh air from the sea

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2018-12-20 15:18

The aim is to build Finnoo into a smart and energy-efficient residential area with low emissions. The waterfront promenade brings the sea within the reach of all residents.

About a 30-minute metro trip from the centre of Helsinki due west lies the new seaside district of Finnoo, which will serve as a residential area for a population of 17,000.

City of Espoo’s Head of Technical and Environmental Services Olli Isotalo says that, from the perspective of city planning, it is fascinating to design an entirely new district. Finnoo sparks interest for a variety of reasons: the opportunity to develop a residential area this close to the capital, by the sea and along a metro line is very rare.

The natural value of the area is also a significant draw. The Suomenoja area is currently home to a water treatment plant and power plant, with less actual housing.

“We are starting with a clean slate, which gives us the opportunity to implement the latest ideas in civil engineering and design in the Finnoo area, in a smart and climate-conscious manner”.

Low emissions and energy efficiency are required of the builders as part of the transfer of plots. The basic solutions for the area will include at least a district heating and district cooling system for retaining the energy in closed circulation. The dense urban structure also supports low emissions.

Finnoonkallio. Illustration: Arkkitehtitoimisto Ajak Oy

Olli Isotalo says, that Espoo wants to design unique and recognisable urban centres that reflect the age in which they were constructed.

“In Finnoo, we can do everything from the ground up, and the theme is proximity to the sea, which will be emphasised through city planning and various water channels. The valuable bird wetlands area by Finnoo is also an appealing element.”

The seaside atmosphere is highlighted by the waterfront park, which links the centre with the shoreline. The marina will become the largest in Espoo, with shuttle boat links to surrounding islands with opportunities for outdoor recreation.

“There is shoreline available, but the tall buildings in the centre will also command a view of the sea.”

According to Isotalo, there are even more sea-themed plans for the section of the shoreline south of the metro centre, the old marina and the sea area.

“The plan for these areas is yet to enter processing.”

Areas for business operations are being reserved near the metro centre in the northern section of Finnoo by the Länsiväylä route.

Finnoontori. Illustration: Maisema-arkkitehdit Oy

The residential construction will be at its most urban and dense in the vicinity of the metro station.  The metro centre will feature a shopping centre, metro station, local public services and residential buildings of up to 20 storeys. The construction of the metro centre will begin in 2019.

The majority of the housing and jobs will be situated within 600 metres of the metro station entrances. Park-and-ride facilities for bicycles and cars will be provided in connection to the metro station. The Länsibaana bicycle and pedestrian route also runs through Finnoo, and the central area is being developed as a pedestrian centre.

“The centre is dense and wide, with plenty of services and excellent public transport connections. The aim is to build high and ensure a harmonious look for the area. The jobs and services will be in the centre, with the smaller buildings further away,” says Isotalo.

The first to be constructed will be the Djupsundsbäcken area, which consists of 80,000 floor square metres of blocks of flats southwest of the metro station. The construction of the metro station will begin in phases after this.

The total permitted building area in the Finnonkallio and Matroonankatu areas is 80,000 square metres. The construction in these areas will begin in 2019.

Lower residential buildings will be constructed near the seashore, along with a waterfront promenade, which will bring the sea within the reach of all residents.

Metro access to Finnoo will be available in 2023, and the construction of the area itself will begin this year. The majority of Finnoo will be completed in the 2030s. Sustainability is a key principle in the implementation of Finnoo, which is evident in plan and energy solutions, conditions for the transfer of plots as well as construction materials.

Finnoo – the new sustainable, green maritime area