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Hanasaari B power plant
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This power plant in Helsinki is transforming into a huge arts complex

The Finnish capital’s Hanasaari plant aims to become one of the city’s foremost art and culture attractions by 2030

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

Power plants tend to be enormous places – so once they’re no longer in use, it must be hard to know what to do with such ridiculous amounts of space. In London, in Toronto, in Shanghai and now in Helsinki, city authorities have come up with an ingenious solution: fill them with loads and loads of art.

An industrial icon in the up-and-coming Suvilahti port area of the Finnish capital, the Hanasaari coal-fired plant is due to be decommissioned in 2024. Now, as part of a huge regeneration project outlined in a planning document this week, the city intends to transform the building into a massive arts and culture complex.

According to the ‘Art and Culture in Helsinki 2030’ report, which was drawn up by an independent working group led by Helsinki City Orchestra curator Aleksi Malmberg, the new cultural hub will ‘bring together living urban culture, artistic performance and museum activities, sustainable development and technological expertise and research’.

The plans could involve moving the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), which is currently housed inside former Olympic tennis hall, to a site near the Hanasaari plant. New institutions, including a combined Architecture and Design Museum, are also under discussion. The plant aims to become one of the city’s foremost art and culture attractions by 2030.

At a time when the arts are under constant, budget-slashing threat, it’s heartening to see at least one city ploughing ahead with such an ambitious project. Fingers crossed international travel will have returned to pretty much normal by then so we can all head over to check it out, eh?

More brilliant plans:

Berghain is reopening next month – as an art gallery
Norway is building an epic whale-watching museum in the Arctic Circle
This new Dutch bike garage is as stylish as any modern art gallery

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