Solja Mäkelä

Plan for high-rise buildings in Espoo, Finland. Image: City of Espoo

Plan for high-rise buildings in Espoo, Finland. Image: City of Espoo

Architect Solja Mäkelä acts as the chief of the Construction Supervision Office at the city of Espoo. The central mission of the office is to protect, conduct and guide the constructing and shaping the city space in order to create comfortable, functional and visually convenient living environments and urban spaces that are also sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Recently Solja Mäkelä participated in composing a report on high-rise construction in the city of Espoo. The report includes instructions and principles of urban planning and architectural guidelines for building high-rise at the city scale. During her residency period in New York Mäkelä investigated the City’s high-rise building base and how the construction principles affect the cityscape and urban structure at large. She explored the coalescence of the buildings to their surroundings, and the impact the high-rise construction has on the broader landscape of the city.

Since Mäkelä’s background is firmly in the architectural design, she took also the buildings’ architecture itself into careful consideration during her residency period. She explored for example how the different architectural choices affect pedestrians and other users of the city space, how the main entrance of the building is located, and how the recognizability of the building’s peak and façade from long-distance view differ from the view at the immediate vicinity and adjacent street area. Mäkelä compared the results of her study with the report composed in Espoo in order to pick up possible improvements and utilize the outcome in her work back in Finland.