Casanova+Hernandez architects | U011_Jyväskaylä Master Plan


U011_Jyväskaylä Master Plan

Jyväskaylä, Finland

“Walking in the woods” proposes a new sustainable residential environment based on the symbiotic interaction of three main elements: the existing landscape (“nature”), new infrastructures (“floating paths”) and the new activities (recreational, residential, commercial and offices).

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The main objective of the proposal is to preserve the natural environment.

The built development is concentrated in an area that is only 1/3 of the surface of the available site, precisely where the lack of vegetation allows buildings to be located among the trees, thus preserving the natural environment.

Reforestation is proposed in these areas to expand the green corridors between the buildings and reinforce the feeling of community that lives in the forest.

Floating paths

The new infrastructures have been minimized and integrated into the landscape.

The streets for the circulation of cars have been covered with wooden decks that function as a network of “floating paths” on which pedestrians can walk through the forest.

These paths, which are used for the circulation of residents to their homes or for visitors to recreational areas, run parallel to the undulating surface of the site or rise gently to reach the entrance level of the houses.

Eventually the paths become plazas or squares for children’s games, rest areas, coffee terraces or areas associated with facilities with views of the lake or the forest.

New activities

The functional zoning is divided into strips: the offices are near the highway and the main road, and the commercial facilities are located along this main road. Residential facilities are located between the road and the lake and recreational activities are located along the lake shore.

The buildings are arranged following strips parallel to the lake. They are located on several levels that fit seamlessly into the existing topography.

The southern facades have a platform, balconies, decks and roof terraces with a view of the lake, while the more protected northern facades are surrounded by platforms that give access to the dwellings on various levels.

The position of the blocks and the number of levels have been designed to achieve good ventilation, optimal solar exposure and stimulating views in the houses.


The superposition of the three layers that define the project: nature, floating paths and new activities, creates a specific identity for the new residential area that is strongly linked to the existing natural environment.

The proposal presents a balanced mix of activities structured by the wooden ‘floating paths’ that invite both residents and visitors to access the lake shore and enjoy the site by walking in the forest.

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Jyväskylä Municipality
Mixed programme: dwellings, restaurants, shopping areas, parking
14 Ha
36.700 m²