Kamppi: reshaping the urban core of Helsinki in a global age

23.08.2007 at 12:19 | Posted in HSS | 11 Comments

by HSS student Davide Catellani

By walking around the city center of Helsinki the place i ve found the most attractive and interesting to explore is Kamppi. Kamppi is a successful example as modern polyfuncutional public space designed to serve the present and future needs of the people of Helsinki as well as greater Finland in a global age.

Kamppi is a four-year construction project, it was the largest singular construction area in the history of Finland involving the extensive and difficult redevelopment of the Kamppi district in downtown Helsinki. By collecting information and talking with local pepole is important to mention that before the recent construction of Kamppi, people walking from the residential Toolo neighborhood to the retail and commercial core of the city passed through the open space of the long distance bus terminal. This terminal was basically a field of blacktop containing all the busses coming and going out the city center.

Today Kamppi is a modern hub hosting a wide range of functons: it´s a shopping center with bus/metro terminals below, market square and clock tower, stepped street , residential units with terminals below, open cultural spaces.

My tour around the area started from Lasipalatsi (glass palace).an exhibition structure designed in the ´40s. Lasipalatsi was restored in 1998 to house a series of cafes, a movie theater, a radio station, and a small book library. As you see in the picture above the courtyard is adapted in summer with outdoor cafes. Moreover every summer the site housed a successful photography installations by activeting an open urban space.

The Kamppi Center is said to be Helsinki’s new downtown commercial and residential centre, it combines the commercial need for streamlined, optimized shopping environment with the necessary supply of customers by maximum accessibility and mobility.


This sequential use of squares is evident in the site planning of Kamppi, and reinforces the notion that Helsinki is a city designed for the pedestrian.

While preserving the historical structure of the site, its perceived function has evolved into a synthesis of its past use; it is a modern day conjunction of the place one goes to leave the city, as well as a creative meeting place(open bar, cafe, performing and visual art palce etc).



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  1. Hi!

    Im a student from HAAGA-HELIA and i was hopeing to use your photos from Kamppi shopping center in one of our schoolprojects.
    Would it be possible ?


    Maija Ojanperä

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