Juhana Marttinen Architects / Projects / The Centre of Vaajakoski in Jyväskylä

The City of Jyväskylä organised a competition to find solutions for the redevelopment of the centre of Vaajakoski, a small country town close to the City of Jyväskylä. The area has a strong industrial and functionalist tradition in architecture. We sought to revitalise the centre and connect it to the nearby magnificent lakeside. The topography of the area is very demanding with large differences in elevations.

The competitiion motto “Do-Re-Mi” stands for rising notes, continuity and three separate areas; the centre, the old factory area and the lakeside. The continuity has been achieved by connecting these three areas by a continuous pedestrian route overpassing the high-speed railway. Along the route there are several piazzas and different activities. The overall goal has been to enhance the urban cohesion of the town centre, improve the architectural quality of the buildings and produce a solution that stands up to time and is not subject to short-term whims of fashion, while being firmly rooted in the functionalist local building tradition of the town. Local qualities are often ignored in architecture, where flashy “starchitecture” is what many architects strive for. That however often produces results of mediocre or even substandard quality, and can be too violent on local sensitivities, whether cultural or architectural.

The main route begins at the Northwest corner of the town at the hospital, passes through the centre consisting of commercial functions, market squares and housing, overpasses the road and enters the office and retail market area, and finally overpasses the railway, after which the functions calm down and the area turns into winding low rows of houses in the park.

From the Jury report: "An easy-going, inspiring project in which free-form city blocks define handsome, free-flowing urban spaces. The urban structure based on closed blocks is harmonious and suitably citylike in nature. The architecture of the buildings with their references to functionalist architecture is symphatetic, well-proportioned in scale and massing"

Brazilian Architectural magazine Contemporaneu published this project in its edition #5, 2010

Full description (in Finnish)

Urban Structure Areas and traffic connections Master Plan  
Aerial schematic Street View Detail Plan, Section  
Lakeside view      

Project type: Open architectural competition

Project size: 65 000m2

Location: Vaajakoski, Jyväskylä Finland

Date: 2010/01

Team: Mäkiaho & Marttinen Architects: Juhana Marttinen, Harri Mäkiaho