Kakolanmaki Competition

2_night view_enlarged

Night view



Competition Entry, 2004. In considering Kakolanmaki, one begins to ponder the linkage between past and present, old and new, then and now.  Place is always a fusion of elements, a palimpsest, the fragments of past memory which blend with the cacaphony of daily life.  Kakolanmaki is this and much more.  As a culturally significant place, our scheme treats the ground as a significant datum line, and aims to respect this place by folding the new gently into the old, and thus providing an element of discovery, surprise and delight.
Project Team:
Vanessa Keith, Laura Stedman, Ute Besenecker, Marsh Kriplen, Monisha Nandy, Kevin Kleyla, Koby Sczcepanski, Quency Wallace, Carlos Soubie, Matti Ponkala

14_Hub ground floor plan enlarged

Hub ground floor plan


3_Contextual site plan_enlarged

Contextual site plan



The nature of Kakolanmaki’s past, and the fact that the function it once served as a prison is no longer needed, is something which struck us as both utopian and liberating. The chance to engage in a discourse regarding its future has been a fascinating and uplifting experience. We chose to approach the subject in search of a transformative space worthy of such a historically and naturally charged site.
Early societies who stayed in one place to establish the cities and towns we now know, soon found the need to remove certain dangerous elements from among their midst with an often severe and violent gesture. The knitting together again of Kakolanmaki as a part of Turku, and indeed, a destination within its own right, provides the kind of liberated and enlightened reform experienced by the newly freed former prisoner, emerging again into society full of hope and renewed enthusiasm.  In the case of Kakola and Remand, the sub levels of their existing plazas become a bustling zone filled with galleries, theaters, and boutiques, spaces to eat and congregate, as well as spaces which serve a civic function. These are places where important lectures, events and world class exhibitions may be held, lit beautifully by the natural light passing through the translucent glass surface of the plaza above. Enclosed volumes create smaller galleries within the Remand, providing differing qualities of light and space.
Two principal elements form a link between Kakola and Remand and find their connecting piece in the Hub, which is at once a health and relaxation spa, a fitness center and gymnasium, and a place of learning and socializing for both adults and children.  The circulation spine of the Hub weaves its way through the project, and the building has a plaza of its own, hugged closely by the earth.  We respect the presence of the old, and its place in the city by gently tucking the new built elements into the ground.



A path inscribes a circle around the project, engaging both sides of the horizontal datum of the earth; at times one walks as through on air through the trees, and at others may dip into the ground, allowing a full range of experience, as well as breathtaking views of the surrounding region.  In this way the parkscape is always new, and engages the visitor in a new way of seeing.
Our interpretation of the competition requirements attempts to respond to certain constraints in a manner that respects the site’s constructed topography and explores the relationship between solid and open.  In throwing off the physical and cultural shackles of the site and its former institutions, we carve into the rock, revealing the figurative bones of man and nature, and weaving a balance between proposed and existing elements.


22_Kakola sub plazza level plan, enlarged

Kakolanmaki sub plaza level plan


23_Kakola mezzanine level plan enlarged

Kakolanmaki mezzanine level plan

Site Model

29_Section detail Kakola center and parkingSection detail of Kakolanmaki center and parking