• Visualization and ideation of delta development
  • 2018 to 2019
  • Location Oulu
  • Client City of Oulu

Starting point

The Oulujoki river delta is scenically, functionally and by urban structure a significant part of the city of Oulu. The delta has changed due to post-glacial rebound as well as the building of the city, and change will continue in the future as well. The goal of the Delta City Vision has been to form a shared state of mind and overall view of the future and principles for the development of the delta region.


The planning area reviewed the central Oulujoki river delta: the areas of Koskikeskus, Hartaanselkä and Rommakonselkä with adjoining islands and shores as well as downtown, Tuira and Hietasaari shore zones.

Planning area


The Delta City Vision has been made by City of Oulu in an open interaction with city dwellers and stakeholders. The three development principles of the vision are invigorating delta, valuable delta, and reforming delta. Our mission was to visualise and further develop the ideas considering the development principles and associated measures. We also implemented a video presenting the Delta City Vision and imposed the layout of the final report.

Invigorating Delta

Situated on Hietasaari island, a new small-scale rest stop at the mouth of Mustasalmi would serve both land and water users. It would also serve as a rest stop for the Hietasaari tour. The rest stop itself would be implemented as accessible and preserving the existing natural environment.

The mouth of Mustasalmi

Tukkisaari island currently has a warehouse serving as a base for a paddling club and a pier for paddling use. In the workshops and survey for Delta City Vision, Tukkisaari was proposed for a paddling and fishing centre, and other small-scale businesses.

In the future, Tukkisaari could operate as a base for paddling, boating and fishing clubs and offer guided and programmed services.

Situated west of the Hupisaaret recreational area, the diversifying of the use of Lammassaari island has been brought up on many occasions. However, construction on the area is limited by the location of the island on the shores of dammed beauty pools: in a dam damage situation most of the island would be submerged. Therefore it is natural to develop Lammassaari as part of the Hupisaaret park whole, making it easy to prepare for possible flood risks.

In the Delta City Vision, Lammasaari was proposed as a platform for voluntary cultural activity where one could take up urban farming, beekeeping, and skateboarding, and implement light structures related to them.

Activities of Lammassaari

Valuable Delta

From the east of Raatinsaari island opens a wonderful view of the Koskikeskus area and fountains. In its current state, the place is left to minor use, due to its location separate from main routes of soft transport on the eastern side of the bridges between downtown Oulu and the district of Tuira. The eastern point of Raatinsaari island is called Lohipadonniemi (”Cape of salmon dam”), a reference to the history of the Merikoski area before the damming of the rapid. Salmon dams were built by hand from the island and the caught salmon was exported all the way to Sweden or Saint Petersburg. The island got its current form from Alvar Aalto’s rapid centre plan.

Lohipadonniemi would be a natural place to represent the diverse history of Merikoski, with means of augmented reality for example. The visitor could hear the raging of the Merikoski rapid and see the long salmon dams being built before their eyes.

Reforming Delta

The natural post-glacial rebound and matter brought by the river lift up new land areas in the delta, and preserving the water mirrors and boat routes requires continuous dredging. The currently very shallow northern side of Hevossaari island could be filled and formed into a new city district at Rommakonselkä. Structurally the new district would enforce the scale of downtown Oulu.

In the idea visualisation, the architecture has been inspired by the storehouse architecture of the harbours, and the proposed wooden construction would be in dialogue with Pikisaari island.