City of Helsinki invites architecture and civil engineering students of Aalto University to design new storages from dismantled building parts

The Closing Loops student competition, launched in October, is seeking a concept for a storage building for outdoor exercise venues that will be built from construction materials and parts recovered from the City of Helsinki’s demolition projects. The objective is to develop the City’s carbon-neutral construction in accordance with the principles of circular economy. The competition will be open until the end of February.

Construction in accordance with the principles of circular economy involves avoiding the use of virgin natural resources as much as possible. This can mean solutions such as utilising a demolished building in a new way. The objective of the Closing Loops competition is to design a cold storage building for exercise locations in Helsinki that utilises building parts, such as concrete elements and hollow core slabs, from the City’s own demolition projects.

The competition aims to find a concept that is low-carbon throughout its lifecycle, resource-conservative and architecturally high-quality. Competition proposals are accepted from architecture and civil engineering students in the bachelor’s and master’s degree phase at Aalto University. The design competition is carried out as a collaboration between the City of Helsinki and Aalto University.

“The student competition will show us in practice what kind of issues related to the reuse of building parts we still have to resolve. The competition will yield information about the planning and costs of dismantling building parts intact and reusing them, as well as the know-how required in the different work phases,” explains architect Eeva Jalovaara from the City of Helsinki’s circular economy cluster program.

The competition aims to find a reproducible solution to replace the maritime containers used as temporary storages at Helsinki’s exercise locations, as they do not currently provide enough storage space for different types of machinery and equipment. The first new storage building will be built within the next year and a half.

The best proposals submitted to the student competition are presented between 1 February and 2 March 2023.

See the proposals here

The results of the competition will be published on 2 March 2023.

Helsinki’s circular economy cluster program entails solving problems related to the availability and reuse of demolition materials through experiments and pilots. The student competition is one of the projects featured in the cluster programme, involving cooperation partners from the City’s different divisions.

Read the competition brief and its attachments here

Want to hear more?

  • Eeva Jalovaara

  • Senior Advisor, architect
    Circular Economy Cluster Program
    City of Helsinki
    Business Helsinki, Innovation services