As with any complex undertaking, the block is a product of many people with complementary expertise. Unique to this project is the diversity of partners and interests in both the design team and client team.
Sitra set out in early 2009 to build a suitable partnership with a Finnish development team prior to launching the competition. Building a strong client team was the first "go/no go" threshold for block project and was understood to be the key means by which economic realities Five prospective teams were interviewed and one was chosen that was comprised of housing and commercial developer SRV and social housing provider VVO.
SRV grew quickly since its founding in the 1980’s to be one of Finland’s first developers to have international operations. In the 2000’s, SRV gained national prominence when it built the Kamppi mixed-use complex/multimodal transit center in the heart of Helsinki. As with any publicly traded company, its principle interests must be revenue and market share.
VVO is one of Finland’s largest rental housing providers with nearly 40.000 apartments under management. Unlike a traditional developer, VVO builds and holds their properties under their own management for long periods (in fact they have never sold a property they have developed). Their principal interests are also revenue, but with a strong social dimension as they provide services and bulk power purchasing for their tenants.
By having three very different team members with diverse interests, we have ensured that the decisions that are made reflect and, as much as possible, resolve the conflicted nature of city-making.
International Design Team:
Arup: global engineering and design company.
Sauerbruch Hutton Architects: Berlin-based international architecture practice.
Experientia: Turin-based user experience design company.
Sinai: a Berlin-based landscape architecture firm.
Helsinki Design Team:
Sarc: Helsinki-based architecture firm.
Vahanen: building engineering firm.
Granlund: Helsinki-based building services consulting firm.