LONDON, UK, 17 March 2022 – The City of Helsinki has today revealed the final four architecture and development consortiums selected to progress in the Makasiiniranta quality and concept competition to revitalise the City’s South Harbour, which is to be a culturally intensive site for the new Museum of Architecture and Design.

Project Name: HELSINKI
Studio Name: Ronald Lu & Partners

HELSINKI By Ronald Lu & Partners - Sheet2
Ronald Lu & Partners
  • Ahti – Elävä Eteläsatama (Arkkitehdit Tommila, Arkkitehdit Rudanko + Kankkunen, A-insinöörit, VSU Landscape Architects, Ålandsbanken)
  • Boardwalk – AALTO Development, Arkkitehtitoimisto Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, Maisema-arkkitehtitoimisto NÄKYMÄ Oy, Sitowise Oy
  • Makasiinipromenadi – South Harbour (NREP, SRV Group, Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit, Nomaji maisema-arkkitehdit, Sitowise, Granlund)
  • Saaret – Konsortium Gran (Niam, Taaleri Infra, K2S Architects, White Arkitekter, Ramboll, HTJ)

Following an anonymised evaluation process, which included a month-long public consultation and appraisal by a multidisciplinary jury*, it can also be revealed that the four successful architect practices are all Helsinki-based; Tommila Architects, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki (LMA), Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit, and K2S Architects.

Each consortium is now granted a further three months before the detailed master-plans are submitted in late June for public consultation, with the final competition winner to be announced in late autumn 2022.

Makasiiniranta is the last old harbour area to be transformed for public use in Helsinki. While currently the waterfront is cut off from public access by port operations, the redevelopment will open up and reconnect the city centre with the sea, enlivening the 83,000 sq m footprint into a  pedestrianised urban space centred around culture and leisure.

HELSINKI By Ronald Lu & Partners - Sheet3
©Ronald Lu & Partners

Saaret – Konsortium Gran (Niam, Taaleri Infra, K2S Architects, White Arkitekter, Ramboll, HTJ) – Seaside Promenade, The City of Helsinki

The City of Helsinki launched the competition in May 2021, calling for operators in the construction, architecture and real estate industry to submit plans with the inclusion of a new site for a new Architecture and Design Museum as a vital aspect of the land use plan along the city’s shoreline. In the prior phase of the competition, each consortium submitted high-quality, sustainability-focused responses to the complex brief, factoring in a number of planning stipulations to protect the character of the maritime coast, architectural layers of heritage buildings, and key sightlines within the city.


The proposed contemporary identity in Ahti invites new ways to engage with and experience the Baltic Sea, balancing the area’s cultural heritage and its relationship with the natural landscape. The theme of water, as an element of both design and climate awareness, is highlighted through purification education and urban stormwater structures, while liveable elements in the landscaping promote new recreational activities.


Boardwalk presents a highly sculptural architectural form and striking new identity for the area,  demarcated by pavilions, in-between spaces and low-lines that invite discovery. The masterplan is intended to be flexible, to invite a multitude of transformational uses over time, ensuring meeting points cultivate a sense of public nourishment across culture, sport and leisure.

©Ronald Lu & Partners


The heritage of the site and its former warehouse spaces are reflected within the Makasiinipromenadi proposal, offering a balanced coexistence and continuum with the cultural and historical landscape. Principles of openness and accessibility permeate the Makasiinipromenadi blueprint, including the provision of free public services, as well as commercial opportunities for a food hub, wellness services and entertainment venues.


Saaret proposes an identity for Makasiiniranta as a crucible of Finland’s idiosyncratic design and creativity. Interspersing flexible built spaces and greener gathering points with the layers of urban nature, Saaret offers an intersection of cultural and sustainable environments that aim to improve the area’s micro-climate and create bio-diverse habitats.

To fulfil the second phase of the competition, the jury has provided individual and general feedback to each development consortium,  comprising detailed landscaping requirements, underground traffic plans and vital sustainability factors.

The winner will be announced in late autumn 2022, to be granted a development reservation for further planning of the project. A separate architecture competition for the Architecture and Design Museum is set to launch during 2023.

Boardwalk – AALTO Development, Arkkitehtitoimisto Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, Maisema-arkkitehtitoimisto NÄKYMÄ Oy, Sitowise Oy – Kauppatori, The City of Helsinki

Juhana Vartiainen Mayor of Helsinki, and Chair of the jury, said: “In its evaluation, the jury emphasised in particular the overall solution of the plans, i.e. how the idea fits into the iconic landscape of the South Harbour and its historical values, as well as whether the entry is workable and feasible in practice. In the evaluation, we also considered the quality of the walking environment and urban space to be important, as well as the implementation of climate-smart solutions in the ideas.”

Hanna Harris, Chief Design Officer at The City of Helsinki, added: “Architecture plays a vital role in the shaping of our cities. In Helsinki, we embrace design to create liveable spaces that open up the city and promote active citizenship. In Makasiiniranta, the next chapter for this historically significant part of Helsinki invites sustainably-driven innovations to become part of the creation and eventual enlivenment of this future home for architecture and design.”

*The Makasiiniranta competition is being led by the City of Helsinki, with a multidisciplinary evaluation jury consisting of governmental representatives and impartial design experts

  • Juhana Vartiainen (chair) – Mayor, City of Helsinki
  • Anni Sinnemäki (vice) – Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, City of Helsinki
  • Ville Lehmuskoski – Executive Director, Urban Environment Division, City of Helsinki
  • Marja Piimies – Head of Detailed Planning, City of Helsinki
  • Salla Hoppu – Leading Architect, planner of the area, City of Helsinki
  • Jussi Luomanen – Head of Urban Space and Landscape Planning, City of Helsinki
  • Sami Haapanen – Head of Land Property Development and Plots, City of Helsinki
  • Johanna Björkman – Head of Cultural Environment, City of Helsinki
  • Marja-Leena Rinkineva – Director of Economic Development, City of Helsinki
  • Outi Säntti – Urban Development Manager, City of Helsinki
  • Kees Christiaanse – Professor Emeritus, Architect (impartial expert)
  • Leila Strömberg – City Architect, Head of Town Planning at City of Jyväskylä (impartial expert)
  • Aino Aspiala – Representative of the Finnish Association of Landscape Architects (impartial expert)
  • Markku Hietala – Senior Advisor (impartial expert)

For further information on the competition, including the competition criteria, please visit the website:

Makasiinipromenadi – South Harbour (NREP, SRV Group, Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit, Nomaji maisema-arkkitehdit, Sitowise, Granlund) – Seaside Promenade, The City of Helsinki


The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is home to approximately 650,000 people, with more than 1.5 million inhabitants living in the wider metropolitan area. This area includes the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. Known for its inclusive culture and openness, Helsinki strives to better itself everyday and takes pride in being a city open to everyone. A compact city, Helsinki has an exceptional transport system, designed to make the city more accessible for the public. Its peaceful ecosystem embraces the sea, which is within 130 kilometres of the shoreline, and encourages its residents to appreciate and explore the nature around them, from the archipelago to its deep green forests.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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