The Lithuanian architectural office AFTER PARTY wins the 1st prize of the Turku Linnanniemi Area International Competition with its project submission for the redesign of the area around the medieval castle of Turku, which has been preserved until today and is located in the middle of the harbour traffic. The project is to be carried out in several phases, with the first phase to be completed in 2029, the 800th anniversary of Turku, and the entire master plan to be completed in 2049.
Turku is a city and former capital on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River. Linnanniemi – a gateway of Turku, squeezed between the city and one of the most prolific archipelago‘s in the world marks the point where both conditions should meet. Situated mostly on a land that was once the sea, the area of natural setting to the medieval castle turned into a grey territory for industry and transportation. This transformation left the area not only as just a transfer point but also vulnerable to the future posed threats of climate change.
Only by reintroducing nature as part of the story for Linnanniemi it can become the link connecting to the vast archipelago. At the same time extending the city programs to complement the impressive heritage will make the area a destination for its residents and tourists joining the city and the archipelago into a united narrative for the future of Turku. AFTER PARTY collaborated on this project with traffic consultants Sitowise and Finnish architect Santtu Hyvarinen./
Three Characters of Turku
The area of the masterplan comprises three strong themes: historical background with the medieval Turku castle, the Aura riverfront of vibrant, growing city and a busy harbour welcoming many visitors throughout the year. These three themes shape the three distinct characteristic zones of the area – as if three puzzle pieces interlocking together to link the city to the hundreds of islets around.
By surrounding the existing castle park with a necklace of green public spaces, the park is stretched all the way to the waterfront, extending the two green corridors of the decommissioned railway line and the new development to the North, becoming a green backbone to the area. The expanded park gives back Turku castle the promi-nence it deserves, becomes the culmination of a densely populated surrounding areas, and at the same time naturally adapts to the climate risks of the future.
In order to expand the Castle Park, the program is efficiently densified in the neighbouring areas and spread through the masterplan allocating the majority of residential at the Maritime Neighbourhood while dedicating the Western part for office, hotel and services. The castle is surrounded by the necklace of public and active commercial functions.
The Maritime Neighbourhood to the East mixes living with city programs and Forum Marinum functions extending the vibrant riverfront to a shared zone for local community and city visitors.
Lastly the Western tip of the masterplan is dedicated to the active Harbour City which besides ensuring the efficient and diversified city and archipelago connections, also combines variety of services, turning the area from a transfer point into a destination – a true gateway of Turku with sustainability and innovation at its core.
The three zones are joined together through a sequence of diverse public spaces with the most prominent anchor functions attached, creating a loop of exuberant experience throughout the area. By introducing the new water connections the existing loops of the city are linked to the scenic archipelago, making Linnaniemi the place where city meets the sea.
Diverse Water Connections and fighting Flood Risk
The optimised vehicle traffic system allows for most of the area to be freed from cars and become pedestrian friendly public space prioritising soft mobility and public transportation. The introduction of diverse water connections throughout the masterplan creates strong links to the archipelago with the culmination at the Harbour City where Ferry terminal and Water transport hub is located.
The flood risk for the low lying area of the masterplan is tackled with two main measures: creating a barrier from the sea at the waterfront edge by elevating the whole ground floor level of the buildings or introducing a raised border.
More frequent storms caused by climate change poses another flood risk. The intensified green spaces and landscape ponds of the park helps to absorb excess rainwater. While the central Harbour City water axis acts as a continuous open gutter and water storage system.
Text Credits: AFTER PARTY.