A kilometre-long art wall planned for Hernesaari construction site

The City of Helsinki is planning a kilometre-long art wall for the future Hernesaari construction site. The construction of a new residential area in Hernesaari will begin next year with the demolition of warehouse halls. The wall will separate the demolition and construction site from the street and waterfront area.

Because the wall of the construction site will be highly visible and exceptionally long, and it will be in place throughout the duration of the Hernesaari construction, the wall will be turned into a local landmark. The wall will also be one of the first items seen by many of Helsinki’s 440,000 annual cruise ship passengers. Furthermore, Hernesaari is a popular leisure destination in summer.

One goal with the wall is to enliven the city and to provide new space for the whole spectrum of public and street art in Helsinki.

Design competition for the wall

The City organized a design competition for the art wall to Aalto University students of graphic design in early 2017. The competition received 9 proposals, and first prize went to Helsinki 24h by Armi Teva and Miia Puustinen.

The evaluation criteria in the competition were attention to the location and scale of the wall, story telling, and ease of implementation. Challenges presented by the task to designers included the extreme weather conditions of Hernesaari, as well as the length of the wall. Furthermore, the wall will be visible from long distances, so it must function from both short and long distances.

According to the jury, the winning design illustrates Helsinki and city residents in an appealing manner. The wall tells stories of Helsinki over 24 hours. The stories are from different parts of the city. The jury was pleased with the contrasts of the stories and considered them to withstand the test of time. They also assessed that the graphics and illustrations can be implemented.

Second prize in this high-quality competition went to Juha Liede and third prize to Akbar Khatir. Miila West received an honorable mention.

The jury was chaired by Helsinki Chief Design Officer Anne Stenros. The other members of the jury were Outi Säntti, Project Manager for the Länsisatama (West Harbour) development, Matti Kaijansinkko, Project Manager for area planning, Laura Aalto, Development Director at Helsinki Marketing Oy, and Jesse Pasanen, a street art expert at Grafia.

Hernesaari to be home to 7,000 people

The emergence of Hernesaari as a new residential area will begin in 2018. A segmental city plan has been proposed for the area, and the proposal will be presented to the City Council during the current year.

At first, the Hernesaari warehouse halls will be demolished. Housing construction will begin in the next few years to proceed over many years. By 2030 Hernesaari will provide 3,000 jobs and be home to 7,000 people.

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