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Lahti launches architectural competition to transform industrial area

Lahti launches architectural competition to transform industrial area

The city needs help transforming 15.5 hectares of land into a modern residential district

On 15 September, the Finnish City of Lahti announced the launch of an architectural competition which seeks to transform the industrial area on the shores of Lake Vesijärvi in Niemi into a residential district. More specifically, the landowners Polttimo and UPM have collaborated with the City of Lahti and the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA) to invite architects to share their design ideas for the future of this industrial zone.

15.5 hectares of competition area

The competition task will undoubtedly be challenging as participants will have to plan the re-design of 15.5 hectares (155,000 square metres) of land. This area reportedly extends from the current Ruoriniemi and along the shore to the Niemi rescue station. As such, it includes 700 metres of shoreline, which the city seeks to further extend.

The industrial zone must be cleared in stages, with companies leaving the area over a period of 2-15 years. Taking this further, the complete transformation of the area into a modern living district is expected to take place over 20 years. Considering that this is a long period of time, the architects will also have to outline how they plan to ensure that the area remains attractive throughout its transformation stages.

To reiterate, the competition’s organisers wish to extend the beach trail in the competition area. According to Project Manager Pirkko-Leena Jakonen, the trail is already a popular outdoor location for the city’s residents. For this reason, design plans must take into account recreational areas, leisure activities, etc.

Winners will be announced in March 2022

Those who are interested in participating must submit their applications by 15 December. Following this, the architects’ proposals will be published online in January. Citizens will then have the opportunity to comment on the design plans.

The competition jury will review the submissions and citizens’ comments before selecting the winner of the competition. It will then announce the results in early March 2022.

Photographs of the competition area can be seen in the gallery above.

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