Malminkartano residential blocks

Background: invited competition 2017, 1st prize
Type: detail plan
Client: AEL & City of Helsinki
Status: planning completed
Timeline: 2017–2021
Location: Malminkartano, Helsinki, Finland
Scope of project: 53,000 m² housing, 4,600 m² educational, 250 m² commercial
Team: Sami Heikkinen (partner in charge), Ville Mellin (project architect), Anna-Kaisa Aalto (landscape arch. in charge), Anni-Mari Anttola Timo Arjanko, Timo Paananen, Juha Riihelä
Competition: Sami Heikkinen (partner in charge), Otto Heinonen (project architect), Anna-Kaisa Aalto (landscape arch. in charge), Vesa Humalisto, Antti Lehto, Anni-Mari Anttola, Emilia Ellilä, Antti Haataja, Ville Mellin, Martina Pitakova

A dispersed campus area is transformed into a communal and climate-friendly neighbourhood.


Malminkartano lies north of Helsinki city centre, a mere 15 minute train ride away. The character of the area stems from its experimental and colourful architecture.  The surrounding green areas offer excellent prospects for outdoor activities.

New pedestrian routes and connections

Green spaces, gardens and leafy lanes establish new connections with the surrounding hills.

Active public spaces

Carefully designed landscape features provide each public space, lane and courtyard with a site-specific atmosphere.

Variation in housing type, colour and roof form lend a distinctive character to the new area.

Climate-awareness through communality

Motivated residents are likely to embrace climate-friendly choices and urban culture. Communality is encouraged through block layout and size, and landscaping for shared gardens and common spaces.

Local energy

The buildings in the area will be heated by an advanced power plant based on carbon capture, which will be located as part of a parking facility. Commercial spaces, bicycle parking and a power plant showroom make the parking facility a focal point of the area.

Pitched roofs are designed to accommodate solar panels. The form and orientation of courtyards creates a warm micro-climate, while vegetation prevents apartments from overheating in summer.

A project that integrates urban design and landscape architecture to support community engagement.