The city of Jyväskylä has approximately 140.000 inhabitants and is one of the fastest growing business centres in Finland. The former industrial area of Kangas is located about 1,5 km north-east of the city centre of Jyväskylä and is characterized by the historically and culturally significant paper factory located in the heart of the area.
The factory complex has been transformed into a creative campus used by the educational institutions of the city. The aim of the competition was to introduce a diverse and robust urban structure for living, working and learning in the immediate context of the transformed factory complex. When fully developed, the area of Kangas will introduce 5.000 new homes and more than 2000 new work places.
In addition to that a large educational campus facility of 33.000 m2 will be located in the area. The “City of Gardens” proposal introduces a vision that takes its starting point in the existing industrial heritage of the site. The linear, early 20th century, architecture of the old red brick factory building will function as a characterizing element throughout the new area.
The industrial character is reinterpreted and reflected in the architecture of the new buildings as well as in the treatment of the public spaces and the shared courtyards. The urban structure proposes a series of inter-connected courtyards – a diverse set of gardens that establish the backbone of the masterplan.
Each one of these gardens have their own identity and character. The two blocks closest to the factory and its public plaza, the Kangas Square, are characterized by their multi-purpose winter-gardens. These winter gardens will introduce semipublic covered courtyards that stay attractive also during the cold long winters.
The winter-garden of the university campus offers a green, multi-functional indoor landscape for learning, socializing and events, while the hybrid block introduces a diverse platform for informal activities for the offices located on the ground floors. The outer perimeter of the plan will be occupied by urban housing courtyards.
This perimeter block structure is broken up to let the surrounding park landscape of Kangas Park into the courtyards. Each housing courtyard will have its own specific identity in order to establish and emphasise a sense of community among the inhabitants of the new area.“ The idea is that the landscape of each housing courtyard will get its own character, ranging from sports, arts, reflection and production.
The landscapes will be developed together with local artists and the future inhabitants. This way, we aim to establish a strong sense of community and involvement from the very beginning”, says Jonas Nordgren, co-founder and partner of Schauman & Nordgren Architects.
The “City of Gardens” introduces a high-quality mixed-use urban neighbourhood for living, working and learning. Its location close to the city centre of Jyväskylä, in a beautiful post-industrial context and in direct proximity to nature, creates a one-of-a-kind starting point for a sustainable life-style, which emphasizes local qualities, sense of belonging and interaction. Source and images, Courtesy of Schauman & Nordgren Architects.