top of page



Authors: Marcelo Diez

                 Tristan P. Hughes

                 Elsi Lehto, Student-Landscape Architecture

                 Maija Parvianinen, Student-Architecture

                 Heini-Emilia Saari, Student-Architecture

                 Sonja Sahlsten, Student-Architecture

                 Martina Jerima, Student- Planning Geography

                 Petteri Kosonen, Student- Planning Geograph


Type: Local master plan produced through community participation


Location: Meri-Rastila, East helsinki


Status: Complete


Year: 2012



The design proposes scattered but concentrated groups of “in-fill” buildings, with housing for 1800 persons and additional retail space, leaving untouched the western recreational forest for the use and benefit of all residents of Helsinki and taking advantage of the under-utilised, Rastila metro stop. A new and dynamic architectural layer was proposed which would revitalise Meri-Rastila and pro-actively alleviate the areas perceived image of economical segregation. The design was based on the same numerical data for services, housing numbers etc as those used by KSV to produce their plans but did not restrict itself to the area specified in Helsinki’s Yleiskaava 2002.


The Alternative Master-Plan project was a part of the OURCity project which was an official part of the World Design Capital year 2012. The OURCity project was co-ordinated by the Meidän OURCity ry association which was founded in spring 2010. The Alternative Master-Plan project was the direct result of collaboration between OURCity and the members PRO Meri-Rastila Liike action group. The project had a budget of 2000e which was provided by WDC2012, and involved four public workshops, of which one involved members of kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto (KSV) who were able to provide critical feedback on the project. The Alternative Master-Plan produced an A3 book presenting its Alternative Master-Plan for Meri-Rastila which was first discussed by members of kaupunkisuunnittelulautakunta in May 2012 and then again in December 2012.


The Alternative Master-Plan also produced 8 exhibition panels which built on and clarified the master-plan and were displayed in Rastila Retail Center, Meri-Rastila, Laituri KSV exhibition space and Stoa cultural centre. During these exhibitions feedback on the design was gathered.


The project entailed engaging with numerous Meri-Rastila stakeholders: Pro-Meri Rastila Liike, Meri-Rastilan Aluefoorumi, Fokka Asukastalo, Meri-Rastila school, Finnish-Somali Association, Kurdish Association, local Mosque, Realia (management company for the local shopping centre) and various residents living in and from Meri-Rastilia.


The design team was made up of two foreign trained architects (both SAFA registered), three student Architects and one student Landscape Architect from Aalto University and two Planning Geography students from Helsinki University. 


The design team was assisted by the Professor of Town Planning and Urban Design at Aalto University – Trevor Harris, the co-ordinator of Glocal course at Aalto University – Hossam Hewidy and by other urban and traffic planning specialists. Additional assistance was also given by Dr. Michail Galanakis, Postdoctoral Researcher at Helsinki University and Mariana Salgado, Head of the Master of Business Administration/ User Centered Design at Laurea University.

bottom of page