Merirauma : an eco-seaside community
TYPE/ masterplan - Team project (international workshop --housing strategy - YTK/IFHP Summer School - August 2012
This project was made during the 18th YTK/IFHP summer school held in Finland.
During one week, we worked as an international team ; sharing ideas, methodologies and exploring Finnish architecture and planning culture. We designed a strategy and a masterplan for Merirauma, a residential neighborhood of Rauma (South of Finland)
Rauma is a coastal city of 40 000 inhabitants along the Golf of Bothnia in the Satakunta region. This is the biggest town of southern Finland. Its industrial harbor and factories power plants play an important role in the local economy.
Merirauma, is a typical residential Finnish neighborhood built in the 60's as a forest village. There are different housing typologies, playgrounds, a charming marina, a communal center, some pedestrian pathways and bike lanes.
But the two main characteristics of Merirauma remain, undoubtedly the forest and the sea.
Despite those attractive features, the site is divided in two. most of the amenities are grouped in the northern part of the neighborhood. In some areas, the 7 storey apartment buildings clash with the traditional single family houses and we observed only few social interactions between inhabitants.
We also noticed some confusion between public and private spaces that could disorient potential visitors.
In this case, our proposal was to enhance the community feeling centered by preserving natural resources (sea and forest) while maintaining the link with the rest of the city. We called it an “Eco sea-side community”.
In the first place, it could be achieved through refurbishing and introducing new functions such as shops and facilities on the buildings' ground floor. We also though about increasing the density by implementing new housing typologies that could smooth out the height and architectural difference between the 7 storey buildings and the single family houses.
Finally, a better integration of natural spaces into the neighborhood everyday life could be attained by designing new type of sport and leisure facilities, in harmony with the site characteristics. For instance a glass library would be built at the entry of Merirauma and some outdoor wooden structures would be installed to read and socialize during winter and summer.