This is an extract of Practical Two, group work with Dan Ronimus, Joonas Salmijärvi, Mathew Page.

Please refer to submission in Moodle for assessment purposes. 

 

Introduction- Sornainen Industrial Tour- “Old Buildings, New Functions”

Helsinki is a relatively young by European standards, yet it offers a unique and diverse history waiting to be explored. The number of visitors to Helsinki is increasing by 13% year-on- year as the city continues to establish itself as a Nordic ‘hot-spot’ (City of Helsinki, 2017). As tourism rises so too does the demand for new and diverse ways to see the city. Currently walking tours in Helsinki concentrate only on historical buildings and tourist sites within the city centre. There is a gap in the market for ‘alternative’ walking tours, showcasing the interesting ‘local’ areas. This is a niche for transformation upon which out walking tour has been developed.

For this report QGIS tools were implemented to digitize and visualize a walking route and map key attractions. The theme for our tour is “Old buildings with new functions”, Sörnäinen Industrial Tour. The tour includes over two and a half hours of guided exploration around repurposed, historical industrial buildings in the Sörnäinen area. Recently, Sörnäinen has reinvented itself from a working industrial past to a vibrant bohemian district with many local artisans, micro-breweries and cutting- edge warehouse conversions. It provides a unique example of Finnish suburban ‘gentrification’ and a vibrant platform for this walking tour.

The What, When & How

Tour Map

What: Sornainen Industrial Tour- “Old Buildings, New Functions”. Theme to visit transformed
industrial buildings.
When: Every Saturday at 2pm-4:30pm
This tour calls into several bars/restaurants, all of which are open on Saturday afternoon.
Where: Meets at Kalasatama Metro Station – Look for our friendly guide in his red t-shirt.
Who: This tour has been planned with accessibility in mind and is suitable for everyone. All
sections of the route are on paved roads which are wheelchair accessible. There are
opportunities for multiple stops, and the tour is family friendly.
Length: 3.45 km (plus several open exploration areas)
Duration: 2.5 hours (the final 30 minutes are free exploration in Suvilahti, so it is possible to depart
early)
Amenities: There will be two toilet stops during the tour. There will also be several opportunities to buy
food and drinks during free time in the Suvilahti and Teurastamo districts.

Tour Program and History

Welcome to the walking tour around the former industrial area of Sörnäinen, which has over the past decades developed into one of the trendiest residential areas of Helsinki. While the neighbourhood has evolved from an industrial site into a residential hotspot, the industrial buildings have remained and been converted into different interesting purposes. Thus, creating the perfect location for our industrial tour. In this walking tour we will explore five industrial sites that have been reborn during the last decade.

Teurastamo

An old slaughterhouse, still a fundamental part of Helsinki’s wholesale market but more importantly an urban living room which has to offer many of the most intriguing restaurants and bars in the city. In Teurastamo the participants of the walking tour will have 30mins of spare time to explore the food and drink options of Teurastamo.

Margarine Factory

Built in the year 1924, it was state owned for decades and produced margarine there until the 1960s. After that the factory has served multiple purposes but has been empty since the middle of the 90s after it served as a temporary morgue for the victims of the Estonia disaster. It is now a unique housing project where the old factory will be turned into apartments after decades of abandonment. (Helsingin Sanomat, 2018).

Tour Overlay on map from 1943 and 2018

Elanto Block

Numerous old industrial buildings dating as far back as 1874. These buildings now house numerous different companies and nonprofit organisations, as well as one of the most awarded bar complexes in Europe. Here we will have the chance to take in the delightful surroundings that represent one of the most well preserved examples of Nordic Classicism from the beginning of last century (Leipätehdas Helsinki, 2018, Helsinki Marketing,
2018).

Theatre Academy Helsinki

Finland’s largest provider of education in acting, dancing and arts operates in an old factory originally from the 1920s. Over the years both soap, margarine and oddly enough elevators have been produced here. (University of the Arts Helsinki 2018).

Suvilahti Power Plant

The walking tour will end at the decommissioned Suvilahti Power Plant which nowadays electrifies the cultural scene of Helsinki. Every August this area hosts the Flow Festival, the leading indie music event in the Northern Europe (Flow Festival Ltd, 2018, Helsingin Sanomat, 2016).On a daily basis it provides spaces for different cultural organisations, a brewery and several restaurants. We will have the opportunity to get a glimpse inside the gasometer from 1909 which will soon become the largest indoor concert arena in Helsinki. Suvilahti is a wonderful spot to end the walk, grab a drink and bite to eat whilst reflecting on the historically and culturally protected environment.

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