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Vellu Feb 27, 2016 2:34 PM

Halvoo, Finland - a SketchUp city
This is Halvoo (Halvöby in Swedish), a fictional city on the southern coast of Finland. It will be set in an alternate reality, where Finns aren’t afraid of high rise buildings. Also it will be more compact than an actual Finnish city this size would be. That’s to make it possible for me to reach the suburbs some time – though I probably never will get to modeling the suburbs. The planned area is 10 km x 10 km, about 100 times more than what I covered with Bourne – and that took me years.

To introduce you to the city, here’s a short recap of its history. I’ve tried to make it in line with the actual history of Finland, but I’ve used artistic freedom here and there.

Chronological history

11th century:
First signs of permanent settlement on Halvoonniemi cape.

15th century:
Halvoonkylä trade village is located at approximately the current downtown area.

Halvoo is given city rights.

Halvoonlinna, a fort protecting the harbor, is completed.

The latest great fire destroys most of the city. A new grid plan is drawn for the city by Carl Olof Cederfelt.

1850: by Vellu04, on Flickr

New South Port is opened to replace the cramped Old Port.

Railway from Helsinki to Turku is opened and Halvoo Station is one stop along the way. A branch line continues to the port.

1900: by Vellu04, on Flickr

Some of the buildings and even whole blocks are destroyed in Soviet bombings during WWII. Damage to the city and its population is not extensive.

A new port for oil transportation is opened on Isoniemi cape just south of Halvoonniemi cape.

1950: by Vellu04, on Flickr

Halvoo airport is opened.

Highway bypassing the city center is opened. Later it becomes a part of Helsinki – Turku highway.

University of Halvoo is founded.

1980: by Vellu04, on Flickr

New highway bypassing the city from south side is completed.

Halvoo Port is opened to replace the South Port and later the Isoniemi Port. Redevelopment of the old port area begins.

Current map: by Vellu04, on Flickr

Vellu Feb 27, 2016 2:41 PM

Start of modeling: the Market Square. It is located on the north side of the Old Port - which nowadays mostly has only ships converted to restaurants at berth; the one active ship being the ferry to the Halvoonlinna fortress. From spring to autumn, the Market Square is very active with vendors selling fresh Finnish food and souvenirs. There are also many outdoor cafés at the square.

The Market Hall is just to the west. by Vellu04, on Flickr

spidey7312 Feb 27, 2016 4:33 PM

Cool city! How many skyscrapers do you plan to have and how tall will the tallest be?

Skydragon42 Feb 27, 2016 4:43 PM

This looks promising!

mity1021 Mar 7, 2016 11:13 PM

Great start! I really like it.

Vellu Mar 12, 2016 5:40 PM

Thanks for the comments!


Originally Posted by spidey7312 (Post 7351217)
Cool city! How many skyscrapers do you plan to have and how tall will the tallest be?

Well, I don't have exact plans, but I'm thinking the tallest will be around 200 meters. I guess it will be located in some of the redevelopment zones, so it will be a while (years, I guess) before I get to model it. The highrises in the city center will probably all be under 150 meters.

Skyscraper enthusiasm hit Halvoo in the 1920's. This building, Apollontorni, at the corner of Kirkkokatu and Nikolainkatu streets, was one of the highrises constructed during that decade. It's 62 meters tall. by Vellu04, on Flickr

BillM Mar 13, 2016 4:29 PM

I am looking forward to watching your city develop. I like the idea of having that underlying map that you use as a template. It also helps us to anticipate the progress.

Skydragon42 Mar 13, 2016 6:45 PM

I very much like your buildings!

mity1021 Mar 14, 2016 4:57 PM

Ditto to what BillM said!

Codster121 Mar 25, 2016 7:18 AM

I love this new city, it already looks amazing. I think 200m is perfect for a large office building, Lakeport's tallest early 21st century skyscraper will be around 250m to 300m

Vellu Mar 26, 2016 11:06 AM

Thanks for all the comments!

Here's a couple of former port warehouses converted to a congress center (the Satama Congress Center) and small restaurants / shops. The Laituri 1 ("Pier One") restaurant at the tip of that pier offers its customers delicious dishes as well as great views of the city. by Vellu04, on Flickr

spidey7312 Mar 26, 2016 12:05 PM

Looking good so far. What will you put on the tiny block by the courthouse? I would put a statue on there if I were you

Codster121 Apr 1, 2016 9:29 PM

I love the historic buildings, I love the waterfront, and i can't wait to see some glass skyscrapers.

Also, May I use your textures from Bourne for some of Lakeport?

Vellu Apr 9, 2016 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by spidey7312 (Post 7384242)
Looking good so far. What will you put on the tiny block by the courthouse? I would put a statue on there if I were you


I'm not quite sure what building you mean by "courthouse", but all the empty lots are left empty on purpose, so there's no development planned for them - at least not for the moment.


Originally Posted by Codster121 (Post 7391751)
Also, May I use your textures from Bourne for some of Lakeport?

By all means! That was one of the reasons that I uploaded Bourne in the first place, so other SketchUp artists could more easily make wonderful cities for us to admire.

Update: couple of blocks by the sea. by Vellu04, on Flickr

Buildings along the Merikatu street. by Vellu04, on Flickr

Skydragon42 Apr 14, 2016 12:18 AM

I very much like the way the city looks in that first view!

Vellu Apr 23, 2016 4:56 PM


Update: by Vellu04, on Flickr

Looking at Merikatu 35, a residential building from the 1920's. It's 47 m tall, which makes it one of Halvoo's pre-war highrises. by Vellu04, on Flickr

A view from Rantapuisto park. by Vellu04, on Flickr

spidey7312 Apr 23, 2016 6:28 PM

Nice job so far!

Vellu May 7, 2016 2:20 PM

Thanks, Spidey!

The Teuermann department store is the largest and most expensive department store in Halvoo. It was founded by German merchant Rudolf Teuermann, who came to Finland in the 1880's. The current building was completed in the 1910's and originally occupied about two thirds of the block. The store has since expanded, and with the extension completed in the 1980's, it now occupies the whole block.

Across the Kirkkokatu street is one of Halvoo's pre-war highrises. The headquarters of Untamo insurance company, built in the 1930's, is 55 meters tall. by Vellu04, on Flickr

verticalextropy May 11, 2016 5:14 AM

Beautiful impeccable work. Can´t wait for Halvoo to enter the 1970s

mity1021 May 11, 2016 10:41 AM

Amazing job! I love watching the city grow block by block.

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