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P01-131 Vaasa RioRio Ecovillage eye heig


Vaasa, Finland




0.39 ha


Invited architectural competition


Assignment completed


PEAB Oy Finland


Martin Arfalk, Patrick Verhoeven,

Andrei Deacu, Francesca Savio,

Emilia Puotinen, Suzete Timba




Vaasan Ravilaakso

The Rio block is a pilot project for the developing Ravilaakso area, and therefore has the potential to serve as a model for the upcoming neighbourhood. Mandaworks’ and Schauman Nordgren Architects’ proposal for the site places a strong sense of community at the heart of the new block and introduces playful situations where the private meets public. The vision reimagines the conventional block, turns it inside out and stitches it into the context as a platform for people to meet and collaborate for a better everyday life.

Social catalysts between building volumes give rhythm to the block and act as meeting places that are shared by residents, neighbours and visitors. A strong community is encouraged by means of circular economy, and by placing entrances to all functions on the first floor rich interaction between different groups can be achieved.

The architecture of the diverse block uses four colours to create distinguishable characters for the social catalysts. Durability and a low carbon footprint is achieved through carefully selected materials and roof shapes that minimise the formation of snow pockets and optimise rainwater collection and dewatering. Rainwater is led from roofs to green areas in the lush courtyard and treated locally. Along the northern edge an art wall and green terrace activate the façade and roof of the shared underground parking garage. The art wall creates an interactive experience for people of all ages to enjoy, while the terrace creates a meeting place for residents.The result is a lively and social block, that encourages the formation of a robust community and an active lifestyle for residents of all ages.

See the masterplan here!

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P01-131 Vaasa RioRio story diagrams-01.j
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio story diagrams-02.j
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio story diagrams-03.j
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio story diagrams-04.j

Site at the meeting of four different

urban conditions

50:50 private public

diagonal principle

A permeable block!

A vibrant mix of typologies, characters and in-between spaces

P01-131 Vaasa RioVaasa Rio_1_500_A2_A2.p

Illustration plan

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Vibrant urban block

A generous space for all age groups allowing for living, working and playing.

P01-131 Vaasa RioRio Ecovillage eye heig

The view of the block

A public space active all year around, day and night.

P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_principles
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_principles
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_principles

Active public spaces and program

Overall volume concept and sun access

Public plinth and program

P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_principles
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_principles
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_principles

Flows and access

Architecture diversity and building division

A lush green courtyard

P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_sustainabi
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_sustainabi
P01-131 Vaasa RioRio diagrams_sustainabi

Stormwater management and water systems

Sustainable green courtyard systems

Shared facilities

P01-131 Vaasa RioRio Ecovillage eye heig

A lush green courtyard

A courtyard where everyone finds its place and thrives!

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P01-131 Vaasa RioAxo - Recycling Corner-
P01-131 Vaasa RioAxo - Bike

North gap: Urban plinth

East gap: Recycling corner

West entrance: Bike-repair shop

P01-131 Vaasa RioAxo - Corner Building-0
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Square corner: Corner building

The Wall

P01-131 Vaasa RioRio Ecovillage eye heig

Active open urban block for the curious visitor and playful local

Program on the ground-floors seamlessly spills out to the public space of the courtyards, enriching the urban environment and human interaction.

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