Tapiola – a multiple town experience

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientificpeer-review


Tapiola Garden City has been under constant changes during last ten years. Tapiola was built to be an ideal city of the modernism by different operators and designed by the most eminent Finnish architects in 50-60s. Parts of the core area is protected as cultural heritage in the town plan, but with the metro line came an era of huge demolitions and high-rise buildings around metro station, obviously very reasonable thinking: the western metro line is shaping Espoo as a city with multiple commercial centers.

How are the inhabitants accepting the changes in the town scape and their environment? How comfortable has living been in Tapiola during the powerful re-constructing time? The removal of the blocks from 80s doesn’t seem to rouse hot debates but now the beautiful swimming hall is in danger, and discussions are going on both in residential events and in social media.

This paper is investigating the space (following Lefebvre 1991) which is theorized in three different but related types of spaces: the conceived (Imagined), the perceived (measured) and the lived (experienced). Researchers and planners are working with representations of space, which usually are intangible and but established in the principles, beliefs and visions of experts and decision makers at the time. The next is the perceived space where movements and interactions take place and where individual and urban realities linked with work and leisure take place. The third one is lived space, which is explained as the unconscious, non-verbal relation between people and space, associated with images and symbol. Is the lived space (as suggested by Salama and Wiedmann 2013) the most subjective and powerful space, or can the representations of “the iconic and original Tapiola” be stronger ?

The research has its data arising from the ongoing public discussions and interviews of inhabitants, as well as author’s subjective experiences living and using Tapiola indifferent periods.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2019
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventAnnual Symposium of Architectural Research: Architecture and City as a Home - Tampere University , Tampere , Finland
Duration: 3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019
Conference number: 11


ConferenceAnnual Symposium of Architectural Research


  • Cultural Heritage
  • Town Planning
  • Space
  • Experience
  • Lefebvre
  • Tapiola

Field of art

  • Architecture


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