The city of Kuopio will develop a large community of new habitats in ‘pearls’ on Lehtoniemi. How to keep the idea or feeling of uncultivated nature alive in such an all encompassing development? And how to connect the future individual inhabitants to this site, to feel at home in such a large and impersonally conceived housing scheme?

We propose to introduce a contrasted environment, in order to make an urban structure that feels like determined urbanity, and natural patches that are large enough to let nature take care of itself, that need no cultivation.
From the center of the pearl, 4 strings of homes curl into the landscape, setting themselves on the existing natural terraces.
The curves make the path of the car the longest path. Shortcuts are granted to slow traffic: people on bikes, by foot or on skis. The center is always near, and one has to confront themselves with nature to reach it. A constant living in harmony with nature is forced upon the pearls inhabitants.

emma architecten 'In the Pines' facade
emma architecten 'In the Pines' circulation

Commission: open competition for a new dwelling area in the city of Kuopio, Finland.

Client: City of Kuopio

Design: 2005

Status: competition concluded in 2006 without a winner

Team Emma: Marten de Jong, Jurg Hertog

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