The capital of Finland first tested city modeling as long back as 1987. But the most recent model of the Kalasatama district demonstrates the new state-of-the-art possibilities of this technology: creation of a highly accurate digital twin of the city.
My hosts, Helsinki’s city modeling specialists Jarmo Suomisto and Enni Airaksinen, showed me their latest projects. One of them offered a glimpse of history through a lens of the future.
With 3D glasses on, I was able to experience the unrealized city plan made by Eliel Saarinen, the father of the world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen. The virtual model in question was a digitized version of a huge physical model from 1915. Being able to stroll the streets and fly over the roofs of the imagined city really made me understand how awesome the original design was. I had seen a scale model of this same plan while it was laid in the foyer of the Museum of Finnish Architecture many years ago, but this experience was quite different.