When it becomes possible, a new pop-up exhibition and event venue, Kulttuurihalli, will be opened in the hall previously occupied by VR’s ticket sales. The exceptional space offers creatives and the cultural industry a unique opportunity to reach audiences in the heart of Helsinki.
The design service agency behind Helsinki Design Week, Luovi Productions, is joining forces with VR Group to bring arts and culture to Helsinki Central Station. Launching in mid-March, the project aims to transform the busy transport hub into a more attractive meeting place for locals and the city’s many visitors.
The Helsinki Central Station, designed by architect Eliel Saarinen, celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.
“Kulttuurihalli brings a wide range of events, changing exhibitions and a café to central Helsinki. There has been a need for this type of space and offering, and we hope that as many people as possible discover Kulttuurihalli as a great venue for events and exhibitions”, says Kari Korkman, CEO of Luovi Productions.
“Kulttuurihalli is intended for the best cultural offering from literature to design or even modern circus. The first exhibition at the venue will be a lighting installation. The spring programme has not yet been fully booked, so there is an excellent opportunity for utilising this unique space that can reach up to 250 000 visitors a day”, Korkman continues.
Saarinen’s original interior design can still largely be found in the station’s former ticket hall. The green pilasters, windows, doors, benches and wall reliefs were all designed by the architect.
In addition to the beautiful setting and great location, Kulttuurihalli offers creatives, companies and organisations a chance to organise an event or exhibition even at short notice. The large hall has been divided into three sections: the exhibition space, the stage area and café. Together they create a perfect venue for exhibitions, launch parties, client events or seminars. The capacity of the space is 200 and the café provides seating for 100 people.
VR Group’s ticket hall will later be repurposed as part of the station’s wider redevelopment project.
“The former VR ticket hall will be transformed into a high-quality restaurant and café with outdoor seating. Until the renovation begins, we wanted meaningful use for the space that opened up in December as the ticket sales operations were relocated. We believe that both locals and tourists visiting the station will enjoy Kulttuurihalli and its great offering”, says Jani Jääskeläinen from VR Group’s Real Estate Program Manager.
“Transforming the ticket hall into a cultural venue is actually bringing it closer to the space’s original purpose as designed by Saarinen. When it was first completed, the space served as a restaurant and waiting area for 2nd and 3rd class passengers. The hall wasn’t taken over by ticket sales until 1958”, tells Jääskeläinen.
The opening of Kulttuurihalli will be postponed at least until 13 April. More information: http://www.kulttuurihalli.fi/