Finland waterfront

  • project: urban planning
  • client: Mikkeli, competition
  • design: Harmen van de Wal, Olaf Gerson met Jacopo Mandelli
  • program: urban extension, science center
  • date: november 2012
  • location: Finland
  • The aim of the competition is twofold: increase the identity of the small town Mikkeli by adding a new waterfront and kick-start an ecological development of Savilathi Bay. Looking at the competition area, a third goal presents itself quite clearly: the connection of all urban neighborhoods which lie around the Savilathi Bay.

    Savilathi Bay Promenade
    We would therefore propose a ring along the coast: The Savilathi Bay Promenade. This promenade will (inter)connect all adjacent neighborhoods and ultimately connect them to the city.
    Like a collier consisting of different beads, the promenade has the capacity to tie various urban landscapes together, without diminishing the local qualities. Set in a park-like environment, this high quality promenade will depend less on ongoing construction along its route. It thus allows for a wider time frame for development, increasing development robustness.

    Ecology as a metaphor for urban planning
    Sustainability generally is approached either from a technological, or a social point of departure. Our aim is to combine both, by treating the urban environment as an ecosystem, with mankind as the main, but certainly not the only species involved. Technology is at our disposal to ensure sustainability without having to give up our modern lifestyle, but a purely technocratic approach towards urban environment has proven to get dramatic social results. In the ecological approach resilience is the key word to success. Rather than creating maximum result for demands that fit within the time frame of creation, one should aim for an urban environment that can adapt to any changes, foreseen and unforeseen. Good balance in the relationship of all entities inside an ecosystem is the foundation of resilience.

    Show slideshow.