What´s about Helsinki without Stockmann and Kamppi

22.08.2007 at 18:51 | Posted in HSS | Leave a comment

by HSS student Rui Duarte

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The importance of the most representative and traditional department stores or shopping malls in the city´s, plays an important role in the commerce and in the public space too.

However, very often, the apropriation of this commercial spaces go besides of his first conceptions and aims.It´s evolution, concerning to the changes (conception, philosophy, design…) along the time, follows the desires and the expectations of the usual costumers of this spaces.

More that a just commercial space, nowadays different forms and parts of not only shopping but also city itself are combined in shopping malls, recreating some artificially created environment inside.Department Store´s like Stockmann and Kamppi in the centre of Helsinki, are quite well integrated into urban structure, and contribute in a great way to dinamize and to develop the sense of appropriation of the publics space.

Shopping malls try to simulate city centres without success: they mix and combine marginal and centre and try to simulate city centre but remain as paradoxical liminal spaces (Lehtonen 1999: 132-137).

Shopping malls are usually considered as public spaces, but they are in fact more like semi-public or liminal spaces (Andersson 1997: 111)

For most of the people shopping mall means going out and just being together in the same public space. Shopping malls are safe, clean environments where you can be yourself and do your shopping in peace or not buy anything if that’s what you prefer. The feeling of being social without actually communicating gives you a sense of belonging. Malls are unreal, urbanlike public spaces where people go to relax and to get new experiences. People don’t go there anymore just to consume but to experience (Citysense 2001)

A territorial analysis would make possible to investigate and compare the anatomy of the public space in different type of commercial spaces. As i can saw, since i´m here, it´s very common, that spaces (that carries a mental and spatial recognize image), are used to be meeting point for the youngsters at night and also for everybody to have a meeting, or simply to go to shopping. Usually like Kamppi and Stockmann, they creat a new major comercial hubs, in a way that are located in city centre and in the heart of the public spaces.

The effect is a dynamic but cozy urban milieu.

So, we can imagine helsinki without this recognize spaces?

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