The City of Helsinki has revealed the final four architecture and development consortiums selected to progress in the Makasiiniranta quality and concept competition to revitalise the City’s South Harbour, which is to be a culturally intensive site for the new Museum of Architecture and Design. Following an anonymised evaluation process, which included a month-long public consultation and appraisal by a multidisciplinary jury*, it can also be revealed that the four successful architect practices are all Helsinki-based Tommila Architects, Lahdelma & Mahlamaki, Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit and K2S Architects. Each consortium is now granted a further three months before the detailed master-plans are submitted in late June for public consultation, with the final competition winner to be announced in late autumn 2022.Makasiiniranta is the last old harbour area to be transformed for public use in Helsinki. While currently the waterfront is cut off from public access by port operations, the redevelopment will open up and reconnect the city centre with the sea, enlivening the 83,000 sq m footprint into a pedestrianised urban space centred around culture and leisure. The City of Helsinki launched the competition in May 2021, calling for operators in the construction, architecture and real estate industry to submit plans with the inclusion of a new site for a new Architecture and Design Museum as a vital aspect of the land use plan along the city’s shoreline. In the prior phase of the competition, each consortium submitted high-quality, sustainability-focused responses to the complex brief, factoring in a number of planning stipulations to protect the character of the maritime coast, architectural layers of heritage buildings, and key sightlines within the city.AhtiThe proposed contemporary identity in Ahti invites new ways to engage with and experience the Baltic Sea, balancing the area’s cultural heritage and its relationship with the natural landscape. The theme of water, as an element of both design and climate awareness, is highlighted through purification education and urban stormwater structures, while liveable elements in the landscaping promote new recreational activities.BoardwalkBoardwalk presents a highly sculptural architectural form and striking new identity for the area, demarcated by pavilions, in-between spaces and low-lines that invite discovery. The masterplan is intended to be flexible, to invite a multitude of transformational uses over time, ensuring meeting points cultivate a sense of public nourishment across culture, sport and leisure.MakasiinipromenadiThe heritage of the site and its former warehouse spaces are reflected within the Makasiinipromenadi proposal, offering a balanced coexistence and continuum with the cultural and historical landscape. Principles of openness and accessibility permeate the Makasiinipromenadi blueprint, including the provision of free public services, as well as commercial opportunities for a food hub, wellness services and entertainment venues.SaaretSaaret proposes an identity for Makasiiniranta as a crucible of Finland’s idiosyncratic design and creativity. Interspersing flexible built spaces and greener gathering points with the layers of urban nature, Saaret offers an intersection of cultural and sustainable environments that aim to improve the area’s micro-climate and create bio-diverse habitats.