Maria Jotuni Park idea competition won by Aalto University students

The landscaping competition by Lappset Group Oy and the City of Kuopio for the development of the Maria Jotuni Park has been brought to conclusion.

The 40th invitation competition, organised for the first time for international universities in the field of landscape architecture and planning, was of high quality.

The first three prizes and the public vote were won by the students of landscape architecture at Aalto University. The competition's panel of experts selected Kaupunki kukkii puistossa ('The city blooms in the park' in English) as the winner. This submission by three students also won the public vote. The competition team members were Elina Lindholm, Tuuli Salovuori and Terhikki Vaarala, whose combined prize totalled €2,500.

The second prize, €1,200 went to Veera Tolvanen's submission Kaupunkilaisten Kuopionlahti ('Town residents' Kuopionlahti' in English). Mika Varpio's submission, Waterworld, received the third prize of €700.

The competition targeted Maria Jotuni Park, an area of about 16.5 hectares on the shore of the Kuopionlahti bay. The awards were handed on 11 February 2016 in connection with the Viherpäivät ('Green Days' in English) event held in Jyväskylä.

In their justification, the 9-member award panel consisting of the representatives of Regional State Administrative Agency and Lappset described the award-winning work by Lindholm, Salovuori and Vaarala as functionally diverse from the viewpoints of age groups and accessibility as well as from the seasonal perspective. According to the panel, the work gathers the park's activities in a form of a clear entity into a central position. The design properly considered the routes, directions of movement, transport links to the area of Kuopio Music Centre and area guidance.

'As a green area, the nascent park precinct has diverse functions. The contiguous route along the shore extends via the famous landscapes of Väinölänniemi promontory to Kuopio's passenger port. The aim of the competition was to involve different user groups and spot new venturesome thoughts for the development of the area. Consideration to urban culture, sense of community and accessibility were emphasised in the evaluation of the works', Kuopio's town gardener Matti Nikoskelainen says.

Together with municipalities, towns and cities, Lappset Group Oy has organised area planning competitions over a period of 40 years. Over 1,200 competition entries have been submitted during that time. For the Maria Jotuni Park competition, altogether 21 submissions were entered: four from Finnish and two from Estonian universities of landscape planning and architecture.

'Green areas are of great importance for people's wellbeing. The form of competition, initiated by exercise advisor Liikuntaneuvos Risto Ikäheimo motivates young university students in the field of landscape planning and architecture to bring up new ideas to increase the comfort of residential and living environments. The competition provides the students with an opportunity to suggest solutions for existing needs of change and practical experience in working with customers. Moreover, participation in the competition acts as a springboard for the labour market in the sector', Concept Manager Aarni Mertala from Lappset explains.

Invitations for the competition were sent to Novia University of Applied Sciences in Raseborg, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Landscape Architecture program at Aalto University Department of Architecture in Otaniemi, HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences in Lepaa, Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian University of Life Sciences.

The idea competition for area planning for the current year will be realised in cooperation with the City of Jyväskylä, the targets being the Jyväskylä Market and the city block previously occupied by the lyceum building.

 Additional information

Matti Nikoskelainen, Town gardener, City of Kuopio, Town planning services, tel. +358 (0)44 718 5711, [email protected], www.kuopio.fi

Aarni Mertala, Concept Manager, Lappset Group Oy, tel. +358 (0)400 328 481, [email protected], www.lappset.fi

The competition entries can be seen in City of Kuopio's site at: https://www.kuopio.fi/web/kaavoitus/valmiit-hankkeet-ja-kilpailut

 

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