The construction of Hernesaari is a part of Helsinki’s maritime transformation. The traditional coexistence of the port and industrial operations with the inner city residential areas will end. The construction will turn Hernesaari into a residential area focused on tourism and leisure time services.

Goals for construction at Hernesaari

The construction of Hernesaari will unify the urban structure, as the construction of the area together with Jätkäsaari will make the shore areas previously used for industrial and port activities a part of the inner city. At the same time, it broadens the offering of housing, jobs, services and opportunities for exercise and recreation in the inner city.

The removal of the industrial and warehouse activities will alter Helsinki’s southern shore silhouette. The large shipyard hall buildings will be torn down and replaced by a maritime residential district. The shipyard will continue to operate in Hietalahti on the north side of the area. Of the buildings currently located in the area, the Ford factory building, Munkkisaari industrial building, the state grain silos, the Löyly sauna and restaurant and Cafe Birgitta will be preserved, and especially the factory buildings and grain silos will remain in place to serve as a reminder of the previous activities in the area, even though their purpose will change. The chain of parks on the inner city’s southern shores that starts form Kaivopuisto will continue along the eastern edge of Hernesaari.

Pre-construction at Hernesaari

The soil in Hernesaari is largely contaminated. The area has been artificially filled, and construction waste, among other things, has accumulated in the soil from the filler material and the industrial activities in the area. Developing the area for residential use requires restoring the contaminated soil in order to prevent the harmful agents in the soil from affecting the future residents and users.

Hernesaari is a very demanding location in terms of foundation engineering. Constructing the area will require dredging the sediments that contain harmful agents and the seabed, digging the current land areas and contaminated soil, filling the sea and raising the level of the current land areas by filling. Hernesaarenranta has a total of around 500,000 m3 of clay and sediment to be dredged, while the boat harbour area has some 150,000 m3.

The volume of sea filling at Hernesaari will amount to around 1,700,000 m3. This is equivalent to about 20 Parliament Houses. In addition, about 125,000 m3 of filling will be used to raise the elevation of the current land areas.

Teardowns in Hernesaari

With the renovation of Hernesaari, the current buildings in the area will be torn down, with the exception of the Ford factory building, the Munkkisaari industrial house, the state grain silos, Löyly and Cafe Birgitta. The shipyard halls in the area will be torn down and the shipyard functions will be relocated to Hietalahti to the north of Hernesaari.

Teardowns in the Hernesaari area started in 2018 with the hall buildings and it will be completed at the end of 2020.

The world’s most beautiful site fence

The art site fence, nearly one kilometre in length, will be a visible landmark at Hernesaari throughout the entire construction period. However, the art fence will not remain in one place for the entire construction period; its parts will change places and move as construction progresses. The fence will be one of the first things that nearly half a million annual cruise tourists visiting Helsinki will see.

The City of Helsinki arranged a competition on the design of the fence for graphic design students at Aalto University. The winners were Armi Teva and Miia Puustinen with their work Helsinki 24h. The artwork consists of 24 images depicting Helsinki from morning until night. Each image represents one hour of the day, and they take us through suburban malls, inner city streets and everyday life in Helsinki.

The fence also depicts Helsinki’s treasures from outside the tourist map that travellers may otherwise miss. In addition to the familiar markets, sleet and summer night memories, those living in Helsinki can also discover new viewpoints on their home city. Helsinki 24h welcomes the growing district of Hernesaari and those who walk its shores.

What will happen in Hernesaari in 2020?

  • Pre-construction and demolition of industrial halls.
  • Dredging and marine backfilling work continues. They are required for housing production.
  • Guidance for cruise operations developes.
  • The PPJ football club airdome will be relocated from Hernesaari to Jätkäsaari in 2021.
  • Tramway and temporary tram turning point will be built in the northern part of Hernesaari
Updated 26.10.2020