Customer: Governing Body of Suomenlinna
Location: Suomenlinna C 86, Helsinki ››
The competition entry “Morcerf” submitted by LPR Architects received an honourable mention in the Suomenlinna Prison development competition in 2010. The purpose of the design competition was to come up with a plan for the new residential buildings of the Suomenlinna open prison that fits into the historic milieu of the area. Some of the more precise evaluation criteria include a vision for the cityscape, the functionality of the solution and fulfilment of the design brief as well as the financial aspects of the project in terms of the project as a whole and its lifecycle costs and environmental impacts. The design competition was restricted. 33 architecture firms submitted participation applications. The jury selected 5 working groups from these.
In the competition entry, the core of the new open prison quarter is a triangular courtyard area surrounded by five residential buildings. The courtyard offers a view of the pools, Kirsikkapuisto Park and over Suomenlinna’s ramparts out to the open sea. Working in concert with the existing buildings, the prison entity is comprised of a hierarchy of spaces, moving from private to public and common. This hierarchy extends throughout the residential buildings, from the private bedrooms through the common spaces and out to the terraces ringing the courtyard. This supports inmates getting ready to return to society by providing them with a variety of facilities for different degrees of socialisation.
In architectural terms, the courtyard and buildings offer their own temporal layer to the milieu of Suomenlinna. The scale and granularity of the buildings blend into the existing environment and historic building stock, while expressing their own temporal layer in the design and some of the materials used. The competition entry also explored sustainable solutions in the form of adaptable building functions and flexible interiors.