Industrial history and the use of waterpower is strongly visible in the new park area of Tikkurila Waterfront complex. The first part of the Tikkurila Waterfront, Åvik, was opened to the public in 2020. This eastern part of the park consists of two riverbank areas, Vernissaranta and Väritehtaanranta, and a pedestrian bridge. The area was opened to the public in 2021. These parks together with Vernissa bridge received the Environmental Structure of the Year 2022 recognition. This is an important recognition in Finland which takes into account design, implementation and maintenance where the jury is made up of representatives from different parties involved in landscape industries in Finland including the Finnish Association of Architects, Ministry of the Environment, Finnish Association of Landscape Architects and Finnish Association of Landscape Industries.
The northern riverbank called Vernissaranta (vernissa = linseed oil) connects the historical linseed oil factory site together. The new park way starts from the iconic Vernissa factory building that works now as a cultural centre. The route continues as a bridge over the old dam structures and continues to the old chimney that was once used for the Vernissa fire and has now been refurbished.
The round shape of the chimney is repeated in the brick picnic tables that were made for the site. This new picnic area of the park has also an outdoor grill place and steppingstones to the rocks of the river.
Before the Vernissaranta park was built, the old dam was partially dismantled and preserved on both riverbanks for a length of 12 and 14 meters. The Kerava River was restored to its natural state. (Ramboll Ltd, 2019). With the new park design, the dismantled dam and the flowing river are the centrepiece of the park. New viewing and seating areas were installed at the ends of the dam. The new park has been adapted to this cultural and historical context, bringing people close to the water’s edge to enjoy the flowing river and its natural surroundings.
Väritehtaanranta park, opposite Vernissaranta, is more natural in character. New structures are subtly placed in the landscape and the existing trees preserved. The area around the landscape pond was refurbished with new seating area. The water quality in the pond is improved by a bio-filtration plant hidden under this new seating area. The old, historic barrage has been restored and illuminated as a new landmark.
Vernissa pedestrian bridge is a new landmark located adjacent to the railway linking the park areas together. The sculptural corten steel railings and the umbra patina treated concrete surface are illuminated at the night. In the future the parkway continues under the pedestrian bridge and the railway bridge to the western side of the Tikkurila Park.
Various meadows, perennials that thrive in the river environment and bulbs were planted along the banks. The stones from the demolition of the dam were used along the park as seating and steppingstones. The rocky areas along the riverbank were left free to develop to create a natural riparian environment.
Landscape Architecture: Loci
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Architecture of the bridge and park structures: Loci Landscape Architects
Lighting design: Lighting Design Collective Ltd
Structural Engineering: Vahanen Ltd
Bridge engineering: Pontek Oy
Geo planning: Sipti Infra Ltd
Stormwater engineering: Sipti Infra Ltd and Watec Ltd
Tikkurila Dam Removal: Ramboll Oy
Electricity: Licon-At Ltd
Area: 10 ha
Design year: 2017-2019
Year Built: 2020-2021
Photography: Pyry Kantonen Photography and Pyry Kantonen, Kuvio Oy
Manufacturer of urban equipment: Metal benches, grill, poles and picnic table, Metalco. Trash bins and bike racks Lehtovuori oy.