Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 36

The Comeback King Spearheaded by shopping centre Ainoa, the legendary Tapiola Centre is being upgraded for the future Once again, there is an air of anticipation in Tapiola, the iconic “Garden City” of Espoo. Tapiola, of course, is near and dear to the hearts of all Finns and widely regarded as a natural treasure; upon its birth over 60 years ago, Tapiola was a shining example of a modern community rooted in natural values. The first-built parts of Tapiola Commercial Centre (from the 1950s and 1960s) still form a valued architectural landmark – but, over time, the centre lost some of its momentum and its sense of purpose. T he fragmented ownership of the Tapiola Centre didn’t exactly help in the development of the area, and the emergence of strong rivals – in the form of new shopping centres – seemed to signal the beginning of the end for the Centre. Then the City of Espoo came to the rescue with its metro plans and a determined effort was made by the property owners to return the Centre to its former glory. With the advent of the metro, more than 20,000 passengers will be using the Tapiola station every day. Looking at those types of volumes, it is easy enough to imagine that a completely new chapter in the development of the neighbourhood is about to begin. The over-all aim is to create a lively, multifaceted 34 Nordicum urban centre with modern mass transportation terminals, well-organised parking and maintenance arrangements. When all these things come together, there will be no stopping Tapiola’s comeback. Back to the Future As the Helsinki metro line extends to Tapiola in 2016, the blocks to the south of the original Centre will be renewed according to the same urban sociological principles that first created the Garden City. As a consequence, the Tapiola Centre will be totally transformed. According to the plans, t B