The station of Pasila is located a few kilometres from the city centre, in a point that is very accessible to both rail and road transport, which will be supplemented by a new metropolitan line in a few years. The master plan for this large infrastructural “valley” aims to respond to the urban relevance of this area, a hinge between the periphery and the city center with high public accessibility given by the nearby Pasila Station.
Espousing principles of high environmental sustainability and reduction of the traffic generated by urban sprawl, the City of Helsinki has decided to build a nucleus characterised by high urban density and a mixture of functions (services, shops, offices and dwellings) near the public transport node.
The existing bridge is transformed into a new urban environment connecting the two edges; on the South side, a cluster of glass towers creates a series of public spaces stepping down to the lower station street and railway level. A new glass canopy shelters a series of commercial paths converging in an enclosed square with a strong “inner city” feeling.
In 2004 on behalf of the city Cino Zucchi Architetti had already prepared a general master plan for the area which had been restored to the city, on the basis of which a protocol of understanding for the development of this area was signed by the City of Helsinki and the State of Finland (Railway) in 2006.
The tissue of tower buildings envisaged by the detailed plan, around an open area of high architectural quality, is distinguished by the fact that every tower features a combination of offices on the lower floors and residences on the upper ones. Both on urban plan and architectural level the project pays considerable attention to the issue of energy saving and environmental sustainability in the new city, with the contribution of Buro Happold in relation to the latest technical innovations and materials in the area.