The future of Helsinki has sailed to London’s Southbank. Helsinki Horizon 2030, an exhibition built inside a sea container, presents the major changes Helsinki is facing in the coming decades as three former harbour areas will be developed into three new districts. To see how Helsinki responds to the theme of this year's LFA – the Welcoming City – stop by the exhibition at Oxo Tower Courtyard, open daily from 19 June to 4 July.
International surveys in recent years have ranked Helsinki as one of the best places in the world in which to live in. Greater Helsinki is home to more over a million people, representing one-fifth of the population of Finland. One of the city's biggest attractions is it's classic Nordic maritime scenery.
Major changes are looming on the Helsinki horizon. Vast harbour and industrial areas have been liberated in the city centre and will be developed in the coming decades into three new districts offering a good life by the sea. At the same time city residents will gain access to 20 kilometres of shoreline. The new city districts and seaside boulevards will bring the sea even closer to the city's residents.
How will this improve the quality of life for residents, and what opportunities will it create for everyday life and enjoying the moment? The exhibition “Helsinki Horizon 2030” provides answers to these and other questions.
Inside the sea container will be a printed image of large aerial view of the entire city of Helsinki that extends from the container floor onto the walls and ceiling, summoning up the development plans of the city. Small scale models of the districts of Länsisatama, Kalasatama and Kruunuvuorenranta are placed on the wall on top of the aerial view in the points of actual geographical locations of the areas.
“There is no better environment in presenting former harbour areas than a sea container, is there?”, asks Meri Louekari, project coordinator at the Helsinki City Planning Department.
What else is there? Visitors are asked to write their own greetings on Helsinki beach balls that eventually will be given to the residents of the new districts. Why not also try a game of mölkky, a Finnish throwing game in which success is based on a combination of chance and skill.
Another Finnish project at the city-wide celebration of architecture in the capital is 'The Nest' by the Finnish Institute in London. 'The Nest' is a timber pavilion showcasing the best of new Finnish wood architecture.
The project will be presented as part of the 'Union Street Urban Orchard' at LFA, adding an abstract timber garden into the urban environment. The pergola-like design consists of a mesh of shelter, decking and stools, offering a spot where visitors of the orchard can meet and explore the urban garden.
Both projects lead up to 2012 when Helsinki is the World Design Capital. In the coming years, the Helsinki Horizon 2030 exhibition can be seen in international architecture and design festivals around the world.
London Festival of Architecture 2010 is a city-wide celebration of architecture in the capital. A wide range of independent events will surround a number of core activities - some focused on high profile weekend events - others taking place throughout the Festival period.
Helsinki Horizon 2030 at London Festival of Architecture:
The Courtyard, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
Opening times: 12 am – 6 pm daily, from June 19 to July 4
The Nest at London Festival of Architecture:
Union Street Urban Orchard, 100 Union Street, London SE1
Further information: http://www.lfa2010.org