At the south side of the old, architecturally respected centre, the younger city blocks will be renovated to the same high standard as the original Tapiola centre.
Tapiola is the most extensive and significant example of post World War II neighbourhood design ideology. There the next generation of designers designed a new kind of neighbourhood for Espoo – a modern, Finnish garden city.
Tapiola was mainly built in the 1950’s and 60’s. The first areas were an exceptional societal and city landscape experiment that caused much debate abroad and created a name for Finnish city design. The international DOCOMOMO Organization has approved Tapiola as one of the milestones of Finnish modernism during the 1920’s to 1970’s.
One of the challenges in the design were the parking spaces that were fragmented and below modern standards and they did not support local businesses. The problem was solved by a central parking lot that will be constructed under the city centre and it will have 1,500 parking spaces. It can be expanded to 3,000 spaces. In connection with the parking lot, there will be an underground maintenance service.
Tapiola Business District to Be Modernized
The goal is to raise Tapiola centre at the top of city development. Support services can be situated under the city centre. This way, the above ground area is reserved for pedestrians which cuts down noise and traffic pollution and creates a perfect setting for the development of the city centre.
Tapiola centre will be operationally and business wise more versatile and it will combine the best features of a traditional city centre and a modern shopping center.
The starting point for the development is a metro station that will be built in Tapiola centre. Along with the metro station, the whole of Merituulentie and its surroundings will be renewed. Merituulentie will be constructed underground and it will have a sophisticated bus terminal. This will increase the amount of pedestrian zones and businesses and it will combine the north and south areas into a more cohesive whole.
Next to the metro station there will be plenty of space for bicycle parking. The Parking lot will also cater the passengers that drive to the station.
A substantial part of the new properties in Tapiola will be situated under the current buildings that function as parking lots and warehouses. Above ground the renovation will take shape as a building for businesses and apartments.
There will be a total of over 100,000 m2 of business and office space created during the renovation. Almost half of these will be carried out by renovating the existing spaces that are currently not in much use.
The number of apartments in the Tapiola centre will increase from 300 to 1,000. The new apartments support the development of the services in the area and will turn the already desirable neighbourhood even more charismatic.
The roundabout in the original plans will be returned to Leimuniitty. An underground tunnel will be built from the roundabout to the centre parking lot and to the smaller parking lot under Tapionaukio. A second connection will be built to the crossing at Etelätuulentie and Itätuulentie. During the construction of the parking lot under Tapionaukio, the current Tapionaukio will be rebuilt and the bus terminal will be turned into a greenspace.
The construction at Tapiola centre started in June 2010 in conjunction with the excavation of the maintenance tunnels for the metro and underground parking lot. The metro line will be operational by the end of 2015, and a substantial part of the renovations and over 400,000 m2 of the underground areas will be complete.