City of Mikkeli | Mikkeli, Finland 2012

This proposal for the Satamalahti area of Mikkeli extends the city to the shoreline of Lake Saimaa in five distinct but compatible ways, each specific to the immediate on shore context and the program requirements as well as the unique opportunities afforded by the landscape conditions of each location.

The scheme incorporates a range of approaches to the edge of the lake – from reinforcing the hard industrial edge of the Harbour to an ambiguous and intermingled approach in the extension of Paukkula over the western shore of the lake. In all instances the key consideration has been the elevation quality of the new townscape relative to the existing context: the city has a 360 degree elevation to the Savilahti portion of Lake Saimaa, and the visual considerations in looking across the lake from any given point in the area are particularly important.

Existing landmarks such as the Cathedral and the Observatory are used as determining points in arranging the massing along the lake edge – such that the new massing is arranged to maintain their visual prominence. Where the existing elevation is less built up – for example to Paukkula where it largely forested – the new massing is dealt with as a less formal accretion of building forms to the existing extra urban context – generating a new picturesque counterpoint to the more rigorous frontage developed for the Harbour and Jateveden-puhdistamo.