Kokkola Pedestrian Area

The town of Kokkola wanted their currently car-inhabited city center area to become obviously pedestrian (with as little effort as possible). We decided to start by placing a tree in the middle of the street. With time, while more trees are planted, the street (sufficient width dimension courtesy of Finnish traffic engineering standard) would turn more park or square like.

The second main gesture was to propose a whole new set of furnishings designed to completely renew crowd behaviour in the area. Different elements follow the same formal logic where the shape of things is defined by pedestrian flows. Most of these furniture-like elements will be installed one by one and surface material upgrades will only happen piece by piece, with time.

Finessed lighting design and soundscape are designed for the area as part of the project. The combination of these new things will be unique to Kokkola, strongly adding to the sense of place (which usually lacks from smaller Finnish cities with their sometimes ruthless post-war rebuilding).

NAME: Kokkola City Center Pedestrian Areas
TYPE: Commission, 2006
STATUS: Built, 2010

LOCATION: Kokkola, Finland
CLIENT: City of Kokkola


PROGRAM: Outdoor Areas on Tehtaankatu, Isokatu and Rantakatu streets and at the market square

TEAM: ALA partners Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston with Aleksi Niemeläinen

COLLABORATORS: Julle Oksanen Lighting Design (lighting design), Aivo Oy (sound design), Tensotech (tensile sturctures)