Laura Hietakorpi & Tomi Jaskari

Laura Hietakorpi & Tomi Jaskari: Main Plaza, proposal for Europan 13 Seinäjoki competition, 2015.

Helsinki-based architects Laura Hietakorpi and Tomi Jaskari work mostly in the field of urban planning and design. Hietakorpi’s interests include landscape architecture and temporary uses of urban space while Jaskari is ambitious about strategic planning as well as housing design. Studying urban space from multiple perspectives, they are constantly looking for good design solutions for functional and comfortable, walkable human-scale spaces.

In 2015 Hietakorpi and Jaskari were awarded for their proposal for Europan 13 Seinäjoki urban design competition. Their vision of an ideal Finnish small-scale city is founded on expanded pedestrian areas and bridges, elevated pocket parks, green roofs, and allotment gardens. They believe that using public spaces improves social control and thus the feeling of safety, increasing the value of the nearby apartments, too.

For the architect duo, the city of New York represents a limitless field of research. They often approach urban space through oppositions such as greenery–landscape, permanent–temporary, official–spontaneous, and static–dynamic, their focus lying in the interfaces of different spaces, user groups and forms of development.

During their residency Hietakorpi and Jaskari are focusing on four themes that are also current in Finland: transforming streetscapes to pedestrian-friendly environments, waterfront development, gentrification, and a variety of grassroots initiatives. They believe that if positive change is possible in New York, it is possible anywhere. After all, when it comes to walkability and streets as public space, it is all about human dimensions – and those are universal.

Laura Hietakorpi & Tomi Jaskari: Ostrobothnian Housing, proposal for Europan 13 Seinäjoki competition, 2015.