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Open House Helsinki presents lost movie theaters and the creative reuse of buildings

Picture of a façade with an arched canopy and an external door flanked by posters.

The architectural event Open House Helsinki will take place this year from 5th to 7th May with the theme Re-Use. The event opens doors to buildings that are normally unavailable to the public.

Open House Helsinki presents the built environment and architecture. This year’s focus is on buildings that are united by reuse, either in materials or in the purpose of the building.

The program includes, for instance, a tour of the L3 warehouse designed by Lars Sonck in Jätkäsaari and Yrjö Kukkapuro's studio. The doors also open to Meilahti Bridge Hospital, Amos Anderson's home museum, Erottaja 2, Cable Factory, Maria 01 and numerous other buildings.

"For instance, Maria 01 in Kamppi was originally made into a hospital and then re-used as a business incubator. On the tour of Amos Anderson's home museum, you get to know what kind of process home museumization is. The cable factory is a kind of parade example of re-use," says Open House Helsinki producer Hilla Tuominen.

Get to know the lost movie theaters with a mobile guide

Open House Helsinki offers walking tours of the city in addition to the presentation of the buildings. The program includes, among other things, the facades of the Kamppi and Punavuori areas, architectural tours of the Helsinki blocks of the 1970s, and an urban adventure based on the Kino-Suomi book to the lost cinemas of Helsinki.

"There have been dozens of cinemas in Helsinki, which have since turned into gyms, art galleries and meeting rooms. On the other hand, films have been watched continuously in the oldest surviving cinemas for over a hundred years," Tuominen reflects.

An easy-to-use mobile application serves as a guide for the cinema tour, which allows the visitor to freely move from one former cinema to another. Saturday the 6th of May from 13:00 to 15:00, a panel discussion on Helsinki's cinemas will be held in Kallio Riviera, in which historian Urmas A. Hilapieli, architect Hannu Salmi, professor of architecture emerita Aino Niskanen and nonfiction writer Juhani Styrman will participate. Admission to the event is free.

Places go fast

Fifteen to thirty people can take part in the free tours of the Open House Helsinki event. Last year, the places were reserved immediately, and it seems to be the case this year as well. You can get the most up-to-date information from Open House Helsinki's social media channels.

The partner for this year's event is JKMM Architects, that specializes in the reuse of buildings. The architectural firm has been responsible for the design work of the Amos Rex Art Museum, Dance House Helsinki, University of the Arts Helsinki and Think Corner Helsinki University, which are part of the event as well. Archinfo is one of the event's partners.

The full program can be found on the event's website here.