The Suvilahti cultural centre is a former power plant and gasworks area that has become home to a wide range of cultural actors.
Suvilahti is a unique industrial milieu that is changing all the time: at least its graffiti wall looks different every day. Suvilahti generated gas and electricity for city dwellers until the 2000s, when the type of energy became cultural. Many cultural actors and organisers of large public events and festivals have made Suvilahti their home.
The former power plant and gasworks area in Suvilahti comprises nine buildings; Voimalaitos, Makasiini, Tiivistämö, Puhdistamo, Konttori, Kojehuone, Mittarikorjaamo, Porttirakennus and Valvomo and 2.5 hectares of open-air yard space.
The two gasholders, built of steel and brick, have become city landmarks and are administered by the City of Helsinki. The brick gasholder has been fully refurbished and planning of repairs to the steel gasholder has begun. Once refurbished, the gasholders can be repurposed for cultural use.
There is a permanent graffiti wall in the area around the Helen Electricity Network power plant.
Planet Suvilahti is an annual event organised by Suvilahti’s tenants themselves, where the area’s actors present their activities and invite Helsinki residents to enjoy themselves and celebrate. This event is usually in conjunction with the Night of the Arts.
Suvilahti’s tenants range from photographers to a brewery bar and from venues for gigs to circus schools. As the renovation of the facilities progresses, more tenants and activities will appear, offering open year-round cultural activities and entertainment.
Suvilahti’s location in the heart of the new Kalasatama district represents a unique opportunity to transform the area into a lively social space.
Since the beginning of 2008, Suvilahti has been administered by the property management company Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo owned by the city of Helsinki. The company is responsible for renovating and renting the former industrial buildings for arts and culture.