Nea Tuominen calls for ecological urban development
Nea Tuominen, our architect-in-residency in September and October, recently was part of the team at ALA architects who designed the new Central Library of Helsinki, slated to open in early December. Currently, she is working on the western extension of the Helsinki subway, specifically on a new station in Espoonlahti.
Success seems to follow Tuominen as she has been very productive over the last six years, winning city planning competitions such as Europan14 with her newly founded architecture office KOMITEA. The winning proposal addressed “the intensified suburban development of Laajasalo Island” just at the edge of Helsinki city. The challenge of the project was to convert an old highway into an urban boulevard with a distinctive residential waterfront that “rejuvenates” the entire zone from its moribund state, while conserving as much forest and wetland environment as possible.
Tuominen interned with the distinguished architectural firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) in 2012, after just completing her master’s thesis on skyscrapers which incorporate urban farming. This subject is still very much on her mind. Her focus in New York during her two-month long residency will be on the relationship between architecture, urban farming, food production and other forms of manufacturing within the city:
“In New York small manufacturing facilities and food production sites are part of a dense urban structure. I would like to explore how these latest developments have succeeded in seamlessly fitting into the city and being operative in the midst of a lively infrastructure.”
Nea Tuominen is also looking forward to discover all the changes that have occurred since her last time in New York in 2012 and is seeking creative insights for her home-town Helsinki:
“Oftentimes, city typology is so dense that it can only feature offices and housing. It will be interesting to look at, based on specific sites in New York, how “green businesses,” such as urban farms could be integrated back into the city of Helsinki to make urban development more versatile – keeping in mind that local production is often more ecological as well.”