New Vantaankoski Idea Competition’s winning entry proposes free city for experiments in working life

21.4.2016

New Vantaankoski Idea Competition’s winning entry proposes free city for experiments in working life.

A multidisciplinary team, led by L Arkkitehdit Oy, has been selected as the winner of the New Vantaankoski Idea Competition, jointly organised by SRV, Sanoma, the City of Vantaa and VTT. The goal of the New Vantaankoski Idea Competition was to find a concept for an innovative business campus. The winning proposal, Futurama, openmindedly breaks down the boundaries of work, leisure, home and workplace.

“We decided to enter because we were attracted by the new type of competition format. From the very start, we challenged the prevailing area and office construction practices, and we visualised on a concept level what working and living in the urban environment of the future will be like. We put together a team that included not only architects, but also, among others, a futurist and a working life expert. They helped to broaden our horizon and see a future full of opportunities,” says Katia Salo, Development Manager at L Arkkitehdit Oy, and leader of the winning team.

The winning entry is based on the premise that the sharp opposition between work, home, work and leisure will end. The working premises concept has run its course and it will be flexibly replaced according to need by an operating environment that also offers people more options in the deciding the rhythm of their daily lives.

“The present way of developing urban environments is inflexible and does not allow room for spontaneous innovations and rapid modification of the urban space. In the spirit of cutting red tape, we propose for the New Vantaankoski a form of free city in which the customary, restrictive rules do not apply. In a delineated area, light-touch, fast experiments on working and urban living would be permitted,” explains Salo.

According to the winning entry, in the future, space will be a service that is modified according to need. The urban space, including transport, for example, will also be a service, as well as a platform for events and in activity. The winning entry proposes that the campus area be allowed to develop in a business-driven way, and that fast infill and conversion construction be permitted through flexible land-use planning. The goal would be that companies, as their situation changed, would not have to leave the area, rather the premises would flexibly accommodate change.

“We wanted to shake up urban planning and business premises projects, and we succeeded. Next, we will launch negotiations with the winners and others who submitted interesting concepts. We will select elements from different works and develop them further. We would like to see applications of the ideas within a year or two,” says Jouko Pöyhönen, SRV’s Director, Project Development, and chairman of the competition jury.

The competition received a total of 17 entries. The competition’s EUR 20,000 main prize was won by the entry Futurama. The entry Symbioosi was awarded EUR 10,000 for a concept whose strengths lay particularly in social interaction services and the reconfigurable use of space. R2D2K and The Mesh Studio shared a EUR 10,000 prize for digital services ideas. The entry Hyönteiselämää (Insect Life) was awarded EUR 5,000 for a mobility solution in the aerial dimension. The entry Kiertotaloustulostin (Circular Economy Printer) was awarded EUR 5,000 for implementation of the circular economy in the area.

Contacts for the media:
Jouko Pöyhönen, Director, Project Development, SRV Group Plc, tel. +358 201 455247, jouko.poyhonen@srv.fi
Hanna Johde, Communications Director, Sanoma Plc, tel. +358 40 673 8977, hanna.johde@sanoma.com
Jose Valanta, Director, Economic Development, City of Vantaa, tel. +358 9 8392 1108, +358 50 523 1116, jose.valanta@vantaa.fi

We will provide representatives of the media, on request, extracts from the winning teams’ competition entries. If you wish to order an information pack, please contact Aino Laakso of our partner Mailand Communications Oy. Contact information: aino.laakso@mailand.fi, tel. +358 50 553 8831.

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