In the planning and renovation of the new operations at Finlandia Hall, the valuable work of Alvar Aalto will be treasured, while bringing new features to the building and its services. Thanks to the temporary facilities, called Little Finlandia, Finlandia Hall will remain open to customers throughout the renewal project. The plans for this large-scale renovation have been completed and are entering the phase of political decision-making.
‘According to the City Strategy, Helsinki will make investments in large cultural and sports events and attracting and creating conferences. The renewal of the architecturally valuable Finlandia Hall is a significant part of the implementation of this strategy,’ notes Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki, who is responsible for the Urban Environment Division.
The Buildings and Public Areas Sub-committee of the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Committee will discuss the project plan of the renovation on 7 February 2019. The final approval for the project plan will come from the City Council.
The main building of Finlandia Hall, completed in 1971, is nearly 50 years old. According to condition examinations, the building is in need of an extensive renovation. Finlandia Hall will be repaired and restored from top to bottom and renovated from the plumbing to the façade. New services targeted at consumers will be located in the building while observing the protection the construction enjoys.
One of the greatest challenges of the renovation project is fitting the latest technology into the building in a discreet manner. The technical building services systems are to be renewed throughout the building. The interior of the building is to be restored, keeping as much of the original as possible. Accessibility and lifts will be improved.
‘Finlandia Hall is one of Alvar Aalto’s main works, and an internationally significant architectural site. We have worked in close cooperation with the planners of the building’s renovation, and are eager to see the cooperation continued,’ says Managing Director Tommi Lindh from the Alvar Aalto Foundation.
The construction costs calculated based on the project plan are 119 million euros. The facades of Finlandia Hall are to be replaced in connection with the renovation. The material will be selected towards the end of this year. The facade costs will make up some 12–15% of the overall costs, of which the material costs are less than half.
The renewal will expand the uses of the building for Helsinki residents and tourists.
The renewal will start in spring 2022. The work will be completed and the building taken into use in two phases: the conference wing in spring 2023, and the main building in summer 2024. Finlandia Hall will be available for conference and event use throughout the renewal project, because a temporary building called Little Finlandia will be built next to the Hall by the shore.
‘The Töölönlahti area is becoming a new and interesting city space in Helsinki. Little Finlandia and the new services of Finlandia Hall are important even for Helsinki as a city of tourism and events,’ says Helsinki Marketing CEO Laura Aalto, who is responsible for city marketing.