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Vaasa, Finland


17 ha


Masterplan - Open Competition

Open Competition 1st Prize  - 2014

Plan Development Ongoing


Vaasa Municipality,

Finnish Association of Architects

Martin Arfalk, Patrick Verhoeven, Nicholas Bigelow, Andrei Deacu, Carlos Dias, Maria Gregorio, Monika Liočaitė, Chuhan Zhang

Hosper Sweden

Vaasan Ravilaakso

A new approach to a historic grid

Grown out of an ambition to create a modern town, Carl Axel Setterberg’s 1860’s plan utilised a simple grid to achieve connectivity, hierarchy and diversity. Today, modern infrastructure and large complexes have cut off Vaasa’s city centre from its surrounding context.


Inside/Outside builds on the ambition of Carl Axel Setterberg by extending the historic grid into the site. The grid is broken down by twisting the neighbourhood’s main streets, pushing back the buildings and opening up the urban structure for urban plazas, squares and park spaces. The new neighbourhood seamlessly connects to the existing centre, while cultivating a novel and modern take on its historic structure.


The plan utilises a variety of plot sizes to stimulate architectural diversity and to encourage a range of actors to take part in the development process. The masterplan’s simple logic and structure allows for a flexible development approach and is designed to be extendable in the future.

Historic plan of Vaasa

Original grid

Expanding the grid

The site is woven into the local context

Diversity within the frame

A mix of plot sizes and architecture typologies lead to a heterogeneous identity

1. Site size

2. Maximum development potential of the site

3. The historic grid extends into the site

4. Historical grid cut to fit with the context

5. Alleys create access to blocks and plot size diversity

6. Pedestrian paths connect site to the context

7. Public spaces create sun exposure

8. The new development has urban character

9. The new combined with old

Ravilaakso main square

By extending the grid the new development receives an urban character

Active public spaces

Main square

Permeable block

Blue green spaces

Blue green alley

Open water landscape along the lively green alley

Green boulevard

Blue green alley

Building variety

An inner courtyard of a diverse block

Built environment

Parking house

Building variety

Vaasan Ravilaakso - Vasa Travdalen  neighborhood

Living and recreation bay strategy

Recreational bike and pedestrian loop around the bay connects site and nature

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