Kaisa-talo - Helda - Helsinki.fi


Kaisa-talo - Helda - Helsinki.fi

35 Kaisa-talo | Kajsahuset | Kaisa House

Suomi | Hirvi-korttelin rakennukset on yhdistetty toisiinsa


Svenska | Byggnaderna i kvarteret Älgen är förenade med


English | Buildings in the Hirvi block are connected by corridors.

Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

Constructing the

University in the

heart of the city

Despite its short academic history, the Hirvi (Elk)

city block in the heart of Helsinki is currently an

integral part of the University of Helsinki. Only a

few of the buildings were originally designed for

the University, but it has gradually bought and

restored most of them. The completion of the

Kaisa House in the northern part of the block

is something of a culmination for its dramatic


Integrating the structurally disparate

buildings in the block was a challenging task. The

wings in the courtyard areas of some buildings

were demolished and replaced with new ones,

while various buildings were connected by

corridors, some of which also serve as exit routes.

Many pedestrians appreciate the new eastwest

shortcut from Vuorikatu to Fabianinkatu,

and the whole academic community benefits

from the north-south network of corridors

connecting buildings within the block.

The Porthania building on Yliopistonkatu

is a landmark for the southern part of the

block, whereas Kaisaniemenkatu marks the

boundary of the block in its northern part.

The Aleksandria Learning Centre, completed

in the block in 2003, is closely connected to the

operations and facilities of the Kaisa House.

The Porthania building, designed by

architect Aarne Ervi, was the University’s

flagship at the time of its completion in 1957. Its

light and airy interior reflect the then prevailing

notion of a modern, forward-looking university,

and the architectural solutions were in many

cases pioneering.

A thorough renovation of Porthania

was completed in 2006. Although the main

occupant of the building is now the Faculty

of Law, Porthania still serves as an important

symbol for the University as a whole.

The City Centre Campus is now complete:

its buildings have been renovated and new occupants

have moved in. The challenge for the

2010s will be to reorganise the City Centre Campus

after the completion of the library project.

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