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Competition: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

The City of Tampere has launched an international ideas contest to re-masterplan a prominent waterfront site in suburban Viinikanlahti (Deadline: 27 September)

Open to everyone – the two-stage competition seeks ‘high-quality and functional’ proposals to transform a 387,946m² former waterworks in the south of Finland’s second city into a new sustainable community for 3,000 residents.

The call for concepts aims to identify an integrated housing and leisure solution which takes account Viinikanlahti’s unique land, water and shoreline. The winning scheme will form the basis of a masterplan for the site where construction is expected to begin in 2024 and complete by 2035.

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

According to the brief: ‘The lakeside district of Viinikanlahti will extend the city centre towards the south. The location and the scenery are perfect for most interesting combinations of modern urban housing, flexible future-oriented services and other functions, as well as innovative urban green solutions on waterfront. Smart urban traffic and infrastructure, low-carbon building activities and solutions based on a vibrant urban culture will be appreciated.

‘In the future, the lakeside district of Viinikanlahti may provide a home for at least 3,000 inhabitants. Lakeside recreational areas and activities may even be offered to higher numbers of inhabitants and visitors. This brilliant development project has been launched as the waste water treatment plant will leave the area by 2025. The unique location is waiting for the best urban and landscape planning ideas and innovations. In the first stage, competitors are tasked with designing a comprehensive plan for the area on a conceptual level – a vision for the future of the area.’

Located around 168 kilometres north of the capital Helsinki, Tampere is the second largest settlement in Finland with more than 370,000 inhabitants. By 2040 the local population is expected to increase to 480,000.

The competition focuses on a former agricultural site overlooking Lake Pyhäjärvi which was transformed into a sewage treatment plant in the 1970s. The plant – which is being replaced by other facilities elsewhere – is expected to be replaced with a new residential-led development with integrated leisure facilities.

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Proposals for the site must create a new ‘city-centre-like, safe and ecological’ district for at least 3,000 residents. A continuous green environment connecting the new development to existing waterfront open spaces in the city will also be required.

The latest competition comes two years after Schauman & Nordgren Architects and Mandaworks won an open contest to re-masterplan Hiedanranta Bay nearby.

The overall winner of the Viinikanlahti contest will receive a €90,000 prize while a second prize of €75,000 and three further prizes worth €45,000 each will also be awarded.

How to apply


The competition language is English and the deadline for applications is 3pm local time on 27 September

Contact details

City of Tampere
Tampereen kaupunki
Aleksis Kiven katu 14-16 C
PL 487
33101 Tampere
Suomi Finland


View the contract notice for more information

Q&A with Minna Seppänen

The project development manager at Architect SAFA discusses her ambitions for the competition

Minna Seppänen

Minna Seppänen

Minna Seppänen

Why are your holding a contest to re-masterplan Viinikanlahti in Finland?

We believe that this competition will enable us to find the most creative design options and the most talented designers for this brilliant and totally new urban lake-side district. Harnessing a competition as the planning method was decided upon in the Five-Star City Centre development programme 2018–2030, and has been approved by the City Council and is also in line with the our City Strategy.

In Finland, the tradition of architectural competitions started as early as in the 20th century, making it one of the oldest and strongest in the world. From the very beginning, competitions have been used to modernise and refresh architecture and urban planning. For example, the Munkkiniemi-Haaga district in Helsinki and the Tapiola Garden City in Espoo were created through competitions.

In the 21st century, the brave and future-oriented City of Tampere has organised several international urban and architectural competitions. The most recent of these include Hiedanranta and Viinikanlahti, both of which aim to develop a sustainable and internationally unique lake-side city that is connected to the city centre by a tramline and walking and cycling routes along the shoreline.

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

What is your vision for the future of the settlement?

Our vision is to create a unique combination of high-quality urban and landscape architecture. The new lake-side district is to be built for 21st century urban citizens, by taking account of their wishes, needs, and values. The area is around 0.4 km2 in size and includes both land and water areas. The existing wastewater treatment plant will be demolished and the contaminated land and water areas cleaned before construction can be started. Long-term urban sustainability and architectural quality are among the basic values of the City of Tampere’s development activities.

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

The competition is open for all. Undiscovered young talents and small agencies are also very welcome to participate. Competition entries must be submitted under a pseudonym. After the first phase, a maximum of six best competition entries will be invited to the second phase where they must submit a new, more detailed, and multi-professionally prepared entry. In both phases, entries will be submitted digitally; in the second phase, 3D-city modelling skills will also be needed.

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Contest site: Viinikanlahti masterplan, Tampere

Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?

In the coming years, the City of Tampere will provide talented architects, designers, and landscape architects with several exciting opportunities for creating new high-quality projects. Within the Viinikanlahti district alone, there will be several projects of a more detailed scale that may consist of public building complexes, housing blocks, single public buildings, or parks and public spaces for landscape architects.

Are there any other recent urban expansion projects you have been impressed by?

The Oslo Opera House by Snøhetta is one of the best urban innovations of our era: an impressive combination of architectural design, landscape architecture, and vivid urban culture. In recent years, all the Nordic countries have developed several fantastic high-quality and sustainable urban solutions. The latest housing and recreational sea-side areas in Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen are also impressive.

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