The Nolli Gardens

Kortepohja is a modernistic neighborhood in Jyväskylä, a medium-sized town of 135.000 inhabitants located in the center of Finland. The project involves an urban redevelopment for its centre and addition of two mixed-use housing blocks. The challenge of the project is to create an attractive local centre where the physical buildings themselves form the catalyst for social integration: where communities become self-reliant and self-organising and where buildings form small villages in a network that we call the city.


We propose to invert the classic modernistic scheme of the original urban scheme. It is the public space that shapes the buildings in stead of the other way around. In 1784 Giambattista Nolli drew a map of the city of Rome that was revealing. Normally plans showed the built and the unbuilt space, the private and the public. Nolli presented the enclosed public spaces, such as the interior of the Pantheon, as open civic spaces. For a community exactly these open and shared spaces offer inhabitants a mutable appropriation.


The three Student Village residential buildings will be replaced by one 4-5 story student building enclosing a communal square. On every level, the communal corridor is interrupted by the shared ‘Nolli Gardens’, breaking the long vista, and adding surprise and social interaction to the common space. These spaces are programmed with a collective dining room with kitchen, winter garden, lounge area, library, sauna etc.


The building for the elderly is a 3 story building that encloses a square on which a new supermarket and restaurant will be located. This ensemble will create the central block for the neighborhood. All the apartments have a double orientation, facing both the street and the communal space that acts as the access point to the apartments.

Location: Jyväskylä (FIN)

Client: City of Jyväskylä, The Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä JYY, NCC Group

Program: Student housing, commercial and service units, bicycle parking and shelters, Central block, supermarket, restaurant, parking

Area: 17.840 m2 and 7.428 m2

Status: Europan 13 competition: 2015, first prize

Project Team: Freyke Hartemink, Jarrik Ouburg, Maciej Abramczyk, Hannes Heitmüller