Italian architect Cino Zucchi Architetti, in collaboration with One Works and Buro Happold London to design the Central Pasila Tower Area in Helsinki, Finland. The goal of the project is to unite the often separated issues of sustainability and urban quality, donating a new living landmark to the city.
+ Project description courtesy of Cino Zucchi Architetti
A new urban landscape
Cino Zucchi Architetti, One Works, Buro Happold London
The city of Helsinki is the endpoint of a vast network of transport lines uniting the living cells of a large urban region.
In this expanded structure, a high accessibility node such that of the Pasila station represents a precious occasion to rethink the form of a sustainable urban environment. Recent studies calculating the relationship between inhabitants per hectare and energy consumption in transport and heating clearly show that increasing the density and functional mix of new interventions is the greatest contribution in reducing CO2 footprint.
This is particularly true in the proximity of public transportation nodes such as Pasila. The vicinity to important structures such as the Messukeskus (Fair) and the YLE Radio ja tv-keskus (Broadcasting company headquarters), the future Töölö metro line, and the planned expansion of the existing Pasila station all point to the dismissed railway yard as a perfect location for a new high-quality settlement. Creating a dense, intimate urban environment next to stations in the place of dismissed infrastructures is the new frontier in “sustainable urbanism”, which tries to introduce a fruitful metamorphosis in existing urban structures instead of endlessly expanding the city into natural land; many successful interventions in Europe uphold this approach.
In the framework of the Master Plan for Central Pasila approved in 2006, which lays out the overall urban renewal of the areas reclaimed from the old railway yard, the Detailed Plan for the Tower Area on the south of the existing bridge represents the factual and iconic core of this new urban pole. A high-quality sequence of new public spaces steps fifteen meters down from the bridge level to the existing semi-circular train depots, which will become lively loft-like spaces for craftsmen, cafes and shops.
The main elongated square on the west side connecting Pasilankatu to the existing station is accessed directly from the forthcoming metro line through the new shopping centre extending under the bridge: a new intense urban space directly connected to the wider territory. Around it, a number of polygonal towers host services and offices on the lower floors and housing on the upper ones, following a new model of mixed-use settlement based on pedestrian movement. The bases of the towers extend out to “embrace” the public space and the terraced gardens which step down connecting the different levels.
A number of simple rules and guidelines will guide the architectural development of the project in time, assuring the variety of a lively urban atmosphere with the simplicity of a new silhouette, a man-made landscape preserving the natural one from further consumption and offering long views towards the sea and the woods.
The project has been realized by the Italian firm of Cino Zucchi Architetti, together with One Works and the consultancy of Buro Happold London on issues of sustainability. This well established team has brought their long–term experience in urban design and environmentally-conscious renewal of dismissed industrial areas (such as the former Junghans factory in Venice, the Alfa Romeo factory in Milano and the former Coal Mines of Ewald in the Ruhr area) to help the City of Helsinki envisage the urban and architectural future of Central Pasila. The Tower Area Detailed Plan unites the often separated issues of sustainability and urban quality, donating a new living landmark to the city.
Cino Zucchi | Cino Zucchi Architetti
Cino Zucchi was born in Milano in 1955; he graduated at M.I.T. in 1978 and at the Politecnico di Milano in 1979, where he is currently Chair Professor of Architectural and Urban Design. He has taught architecture at many international seminars and has been visiting professor at Syracuse University and at ETH in Zürich. He participated in the organization and exposition design of the XV, XVI, XVIII and XIX Triennale, and his work has been shown at the 6th and 8th Venice Biennale.
Together with CZA, of which he is the principal architect, he designed and realized many industrial, commercial, residential and public buildings, a number of projects for public spaces, master plans and renewals of industrial and historical areas. The urban design of the former Junghans factory site in Venice was awarded a mention in the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2001 and in the Medaglia d’oro all’architettura Italiana 1995-2003, and won the Piranesi Award 2001, the “Comune di Venezia” Architecture Award 2005 and the Ecola Award 2006.
Major works of CZA include residential and office buildings for the former Alfa Romeo-Portello area in Milano, the extension and renovation of the Turin Car Museum, and a number of mixed-use urban quarters presently in completion like the one in Bologna (Porto Navile), in Parma (Rossi Catelli), in Ravenna (Darsena) in Milano (Garibaldi Repubblica). The projects of the studio have been published in books and magazines worldwide.
Leonardo Cavalli | One Works
Leonardo Cavalli was born in Como, Italy, in 1962 and obtained a degree in Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano in 1986. He is a member of the Italian Institute of Architects since 1988. After spending two years in London, in 1988 he became assistant teacher in urban design at the Polytechnic of Southern California, Los Angeles. From 1990 to 1994 he was assistant teacher in architecture design at the Politecnico di Milano and in 1996/1997 was visiting professor of urban design at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia. He is currently managing partner of One Works, a design and planning consultancy specializing in Architecture, Infrastructure and Urban Engineering. His main field of activity concentrates in master planning, working on projects in Italy, Europe and the Americas.
Wolf Mangelsdorf | Buro Happold London
Wolf Mangelsdorf was born and grew up in Germany near Würzburg. He studied Architecture and Civil Engineering at Karlsruhe University, where he also worked for an architectural practice after graduation. After a research stay at Kyoto University he moved to Britain in 1997 and to work as a structural engineer at Anthony Hunt Associates in their Cirencester and London offices.
Since 2002 he has been with Buro Happold in London where he is a partner and responsible for structural engineering in the London office.
Wolf has been teaching technical studies at the AA in Diploma School since 2000 and has been a guest lecturer and guest tutor at a number of Universities internationally.