Location: Helsinki

Type: public space, park design

Status: construction documents completed, estimated building year 2022

Client: City of Helsinki, Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo

Year: 2017-2019

Design: Nomaji (landscape architecture) JKMM (architecture)

Collaborators: Sitowise Oy (lightning design and municipal engineering)

Helsinki will have a new building dedicated to the art of dance in 2022. The House of Dance is a major cultural project in the city that amplifies the already diverse range of events and the culture of the neighboring Kaapelitehdas building. Nomaji has been responsible for the landscape design of the House of Dance project, including the associated public outdoor spaces. As a part of the project, the Kaapelipuisto park will be renewed and the Kaapeliaukio square will be transformed from a parking lot into an event square.

Nomaji prepared a master plan for the development of public outdoor spaces throughout the surrounding area in 2017. The outdoor spaces are intended to complement the use of the House of Dance and Kaapelitehdas. The design concept utilizes durable and natural materials creating a certain harsh quality that emphasizes the industrial history of the area. This is contrasted with light and transformable elements and functions inspired by dance; vegetation, water, light, events, and urban mobility.

The Kaapelipuisto park will feature diverse and dynamically layered vegetation as well as sculptural parkour equipment. Large boulders surround intimate spaces in the park, giving protection from the maintenance traffic that serves the building. The Kaapeliaukio is turned into a square surrounded by trees and stepped seating areas. The mounded landform and vegetation creates a border between the space and the adjacent traffic area. The square will be equipped with special lighting, which will create a theatrical atmosphere. In addition, Nomaji has also designed a large biodiverse green roof for the House of Dance.