Location: Helsinki, Korkeasaari Zoo

Type: concept design, master plan, recreation, tourist

Status: partly completed in 2018

Client: City of Helsinki

Year: 2016-2017

How to create a feeling of wilderness in a zoo, located in the middle of Helsinki? That was the task given to us by Korkeasaari zoo. The ”Korpi” (wilderness in Finnish) area is located on the south side of Korkeasaari island. It houses the Finnish native species in the old pine forests that remain from the National park days. We began our design process with a general plan, where we defined the general approach of the design and distinguished areas for detailed design. The planting consists only of native, Finnish plants and hard materials of natural origin, like wood and stone. Biochar has been used in the design to bind excess nutrients to the soil, forming the conditions needed for native forest vegetation. Paths have been designed so that there are more places to slow down and stop to observe nature. The old, conventional picnic area in front of Karhulinna has turned into a multifunctional low, dry meadow that is surrounded by higher vegetation and views to the sea.
The Korpi project is part of the Finland 100 initiative and several other designers are participating in the project. Nomaji has designed the planting for the whole Korpi area and the gate areas along with furniture and other fixtures that fit into the theme.