Type: Nature paths and structures, sustainable travelling, wood
Client: The City of Helsinki, Urban Environment
Year: Design 2019-2020, construction 2020
The nature path structures of Vasikkasaari were completed in the fall of 2020 and are part of the Urban Eco Islands – Urban and Smart Island Tourism Destinations European Union initiative. The initiative strives to create new solutions for sustainable nature travelling. Intelligent solutions and applications are intended to be used to monitor the condition of the nature of the place, the number of visitors and to encourage people to observe the nature via mobile application.
The designed path structures guide the visitors to the highlight points and places on the island while also preserving the delicate local vegetation. Three different types of subtly located resting spots were designed, drawing inspiration from the landscape and view of each selected spot. The northernmost resting spot is located on a bare bedrock with a view to the silhouette of Helsinki. The bench, table and terrace create a uniform structure which serves as a place for resting even for larger groups. The surrounding bedrock is a natural extension area for the visitors.
As the route continues to south, the next resting spot offers shelter in the form of a small hut. The walls on the hut are built of slats which creates a see-through surface. The main view inside the hut opens to Suomenlinna. Behind the hut a rock wall rises up and forms a backdrop for the place. The most southern spot is a bench which duplicates the patterns of the surrounding bedrock. With small gestures, the bench invites users to stop and enjoy the view to the open ocean that is situated between Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari.
Helsinki has a strategy concerning the shoreline areas which aims for the archipelago to become one of the main attractions of the city while also raising awareness and making it more accessible to the local residents. Vasikkasaari is one of the key targets of this strategy. The island was opened for recreational use in 2019.