Topic outline

  • Forgotten Place

    Ylä-Rheininmaan mestari: Paratiisin puutarha

    The Master of Upper Rheinland: The Garden of Paradise (app. 1415)

    Urban Studies and Planning Capstone Project Course

    Autumn 2022

    12 ECTS, contact teaching on Tuesdays 9:15-12

    Place: Väre, varying spaces

    This course is suitable for students in 

    • USP programme, 
    • Architecture Programme and
    • Landscape Architecture Programme

    The speciality of USP Capstone course is to support students’ self-motivation in defining their actual tasks. Students can outline their specific outcomes individually. This self-choice is the so-called capstone feature in this final stage course. At the beginning of the assignments, it is important to ask students for a clear description of exactly what they intend to do to make instruction and assessment feasible. 

    USP’s architecture students
     will pursue urban design or building design work and the students from USP’s non-architecture fields will concentrate on research topics of their own disciplines. Students from the programme of architecture will work in the scale they choose. For master students in landscape architecture, the course can be recorded as a studio course MAR-E1031 Monialainen projekti 10-15 cr, where landscape architecture students participate in (studio) courses in other subjects and act as if they were landscape architecture consultants.

    Site: Karhusaari, Espoo

    Location on a historical map

    Location on Odert Gripenberg's Kungens karta, 18th century, Espoo City Museum

    We collaborate with the City of Espoo to prepare new programmatic and urban design ideas for this paradoxical area at the border between Espoo and Helsinki, where a beautiful 19th century villa with sea views and a surrounding forest meets the Länsiväylä motorway. The area is located very close to Otaniemi and especially the business park Keilaniemi. The task offers great possibilities to work at the crossroads of spatial programming, sustainability, adaptive reuse, retrofit, urban regeneration and real estate development.

    At the moment, the buildings of the site are rented by the city to artists (as workrooms) and to events (e.g. weddings and meetings in the villa), as well as the courtyard housing building (Hevosmiehen talo / Horseman's House) to Pro Karhusaari association.

    Site plan of the buildings

    The buildings of the Sinebrychoff villa: A = Villa, F = Horseman's House, G-L = Utility buildings.

    Spatial programme

    • the activities and their extents will be decided by the students themselves
    • based on analysis
    • some possibilities mentioned by officials from the City of Espoo: saunas, different types of restaurants, saunas, a spa
    • generally, the plan should at least answer to the need to create a destination
    • simultaneously there exists the need to get (rent) revenue to the city in order to renovate and maintain the historic buildings  


    • based on spring 2022 course on historical bulding assessment 
    • co-existence and integration of different values and principles in the development

    Oblique aereal image of the buildings

    New uses should be planned to the old buildings. Extensions and infill are also possible.

    To be taken into account

    • historical values
    • nature values
    • noise
    • connections
    • attractivity
    • feasibility
    • business plan

    Photo of the villa with orangerie in front


    • the cultural environment and natural  assessment needs to be taken into account
    • the motorway and its ramps cannot be changed
    • new functions and construction must be commercially feasible – for most part they cannot be financed by the city

    Suunnittelualueen rajaus ilmakuvassa


    Prof., arch. SAFA Antti Ahlava

    Arch. SAFA Karoliina Hartiala

    Visiting teachers

    Prof., arch. Chong Keng Hua, Singapore University of Technology and Design SUTD, Dept. of Architecture

    Prof., arch. Minna Sunikka-Blank, University of Cambridge, Dept. of Architecture

    Arch. Kati Kivelä, Espoo City Plannig Bureau

    Please send mail, if you have questions, to

    Karhusaari shoreline view

    The area has a beautiful coast with views to the archipelago

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