The Goodman shopping centre certainly deserves its name as it is a feel-good place – a place of encounters where everyday life and good service go hand in hand. The new and interesting Goodman, which is built in the middle of a motorway, is Hämeenlinna’s landmark and a shopping centre known everywhere. It reveals itself to travellers coming to shop from near or far.
Goodman is easy to reach and, once there, it is easy to move around. The trendy and laid-back lounge of the inhabitants of Hämeenlinna contains a wide selection of fashion and leisure time shops, small shops as well as many cosy cafés and restaurants. Daily grocery shopping can also be done here.
The town centre will get about 70 new shops and a cheerful vibe suitable for a small town.
The new centre has been realised taking both the environment and residents into account. The traffic arrangements guarantee that those living near the centre will be disturbed as little as possible. The central shopping centre is easy to reach also on foot, by bicycle or by bus.
Goods traffic is concentrated on Eureninkatu, which means that it won’t be a burden on those living on Kaivokatu.
The fact that the motorway goes through a tunnel reduces noise in the centre. Furthermore, the exhaust gases coming from cars no longer remain in the centre as they are directed out of the tunnel at its ends.
In the construction of the Goodman shopping centre, NCC Property Development Oy and NCC Rakennus Oy served as developer and constructor, respectively. The centre is owned by Keva, which is responsible for financing the pensions of the municipal sector and for investing pension assets. The shopping centre is run by Realprojekti Oy, which is part of Ovenia Group.
All major projects have a long history that may stretch back a few generations – and the Goodman shopping centre is no different. A fundamental condition for the construction of the shopping centre has been the covering of Hämeenlinna’s motorway, whose story began decades – or even centuries – ago.
Let’s start, for example, from the late 18th century, when the town of Hämeenlinna was moved from near the castle to where the centre is today, i.e. to the Niementausta hill, by order of King Gustav III. The land belonged to the crown and the crown donated the soil for the new location to the town.
The Niementausta hill was actually an island – at least during the spring floods. Its surface was enough for the town of that time. However, the island was soon fully built. The town expanded to the West towards Myllymäki and Kauriala. Between the two areas remained a soggy and watery swamp that was unsuitable for construction. High road embankments – or dry bridges, as people used to call them – had been built on Turuntie, Lukiokatu and Eteläkatu using birches.
At the end of the 50s, the number of cars in Finland started to grow and proper road connections became a necessity. In Hämeenlinna’s master plan for 1957, it was decided to place the new Helsinki-Tampere motorway on a watery wasteland right next to the centre. The solution was criticised from the beginning due to the problems possibly brought on by traffic and the council had a close vote on the matter. The same master plan also contained the idea to move the traffic that cut through the centre in the East-West direction to the South of the centre, to the road later built as Paasikiventie.
The expressway was completed in the early 60s. In the centre of Hämeenlinna, the road was built as a four-lane motorway for the future, which was very exceptional at that time. The old dry bridges were replaced with concrete bridges.
As soon as the motorway was completed, people began to think about expanding the centre over it. The first drawings of the motorway cover date back to 1969. Also then, the starting point was to cover the area between Turuntie and Paasikiventie. After that, the idea continued to re-emerge from time to time. However, the starting point of the current project can be considered to be the Town Council’s decision in 2002, when it was decided to launch a survey on expanding the centre and covering the motorway.
The partnership competition held at the end of 2002, which was won by NCC, marked the beginning of a twelve-year process that would lead to the completion of the shopping centre.
In order to find a functionally effective solution that would provide the best townscape, a planning competition based on the goals set by the town was organised in 2005. The competition was won by Arkkitehtityöhuone APRT. In their planning solution, the shopping centre and housing blocks were seamlessly connected as an integral part of today’s urban structure through squares and an avenue.
The plans were refined with care. In autumn 2007, all necessary surveys were ready and the town plan approval process began. The amendment to the town plan was approved in 2008 and the plan was ratified in 2010.
Construction began in September 2011 with the bridges and the tunnel under the shopping centre. The construction of the shopping centre itself began in spring 2012, and so did the phased construction of the blocks of flats on Kaivokatu. The motorway tunnel was completed in June 2013 and the other road connections around the shopping centre were completed in the autumn of the same year.
The topping out was held in November 2013, when the project, which had been known as Hämeenlinna Centre until then, also got the name Shopping Centre Goodman.
Construction, both inside and outside, continued until the fall of 2014. The opening of the shopping center was celebrated in a happy atmosphere on October 30, 2014.
Source: Jouko Kettunen and www.hameenlinna.fi/Kaupunki-info/Kehittyva-kaupunki/Kate/Tarjouskilpailu/