The results of Europan9 in Finland are out. With three competition areas in Finland Kotka, Vantaa, and Espoo, it was the winner of the Espoo site which stood out for me as being able to create a real quality set of shoreline spaces without being twee or contrived. Clear connections to the existing infrastructure and reuse of some of the industrial buildings, make really good gritty urban design, I would love to see this get built. It is so that although the Europan competition has some weaknesses, I’ve seen plenty of projects which don’t take into account the Finnish weather for example it continuues to channel and generate good ideas both experimental and practical and I hope is an ongoing engine of change and experimentation in urbanism. I’d love to see it expanded to look at projects forinstance in Asia where urban growth is a great threat and opportunity. A global competition with the teeth or Europan to even get some visionary projects actually off the drawing board however patchily would be great.
The Winning Espoo project was by Julien Ventalon, and Laura Bartolon both of France, images are from their winning entry. (Also found a post about the kotka entry here which is pretty nice too.) Click through for a slideshow of the espoo winners entry.