The Local Reference Plan for the Riihimäki Station Area of a multidisciplinary team of Finnish architecture and planning offices brings together disparate and detached neighborhoods separated by a bisecting railway line. The plan reconciles different socio-economic conditions to create a more egalitarian society in keeping with Finnish values.
The Local Reference Plan for the Riihimäki Station Area was published by the city of Riihimäki on 25th August 2020. The plan includes land use, traffic planning and detailed master planning for an area of 80 hectares, which is home to 5000 inhabitants. The multidisciplinary team consisted of Arkkitehdit LSV, Jolma Architects, TUPA architecture, Nomaji maisema-arkkitehdit and Ramboll Finland. The plan is to bring together disparate and remote neighborhoods separated by a bisecting railroad line and covers three plan areas: the historic core, and the two districts of Jokikylä and Peltosaari. The Local Reference Plan is an approved supplementary planning document that is based on the adopted Master Plan which was also completed by the same design team.
The historic core
A vibrant downtown area has been created around the refurbished historical train sheds, train station, and the travel center. The historical buildings are very well preserved and should be accessible for new forms of use. An important aspect for the planners are sufficient transport connections including the change to sustainable modes of transport: The traffic junctions are integrated into the public open space, where the higher hotel and office buildings act as landmarks. The planners took into account the historical environment of the existing buildings when scaling the proposed buildings and choosing complementary materials. City center functions of mixed-use housing, retail, entertainment and offices bring vibrancy to the downtown area. The transformation of Eteläinen Asemakatu into a vibrant green street, which also provides ecosystem services of rainwater management and amelioration, creates a pleasant environment for walking.
The character of Jokikylä’s townscape is determined by the proximity of nature, which is found in the lush meadow and shore vegetation of the Vantaanjoki River. The river design serves as a flood protection and at the same time provides a comfort value in the flooded meadows. The river bed and the habitats along the river banks have also been diversified to create a better habitat for wildlife. The low two to five-story buildings and their arrangement create an intimate, village-like character that surrounds the central park. The parking lots are located along the railroad line and provide an acoustic barrier that creates a peaceful environment in the village of Jokikylä.
Infill and new development in Peltosaari supports and improves the existing built assets with new residential and service buildings, creating a service center that serves people of all backgrounds. The area is well connected by the main pedestrian and bicycle network as well as by public transport and car routes. The central main square is directly connected to the railroad underpass and the multi-purpose building, thus enlivening access to the city center through public art. The different heights of the buildings ensure that sufficient sunlight penetrates to the street level. The tallest buildings are located along the trackside to provide acoustic buffering for the rest of the development. The blue and green infrastructure in the area, especially the proposed Karlskogan Puisto Park, will significantly improve the amenity value of the area while providing much needed flood protection.
Text Credits: Jolma Architects