House of Culture

Renovation and renewal of public spaces

Location: Helsinki, Finland
Function: Bar, Black-box club, Event spaces, Lobby, Restaurant
Scope: Adaptive reuse, Interior, Restoration
Design team: JKMM Interiors

During autumn 2023, House of Culture underwent a renovation and revitalization of its functions and audience spaces under the leadership of the newly appointed venue and event operator ASM Global. The renovation and revitalization project of the venue’s spaces, originally designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1958 and protected by a building conservation law in 1989, involved Fyra as the main architectural designer and JKMM Interiors as the interior designer.

The aim of the renovations is to increase the appeal, capacity, and new audiences of the House of Culture. The focus was to create a functional event environment while respecting the cultural and historical value of the protected building. All solutions can be restored according to conservation principles.

The largest and most visible change has taken place in the Alppisali, originally designed as a cinema, and subsequently undergone many changes. The previously unused space has been revived and will serve as a 300-person DJ and live music venue named Kult Club. The original brick foyer by Alvar Aalto and the entrance at the south end of the House of Culture, which has been out of use for years, are part of the new black-box club. The clubbing will also expand into the underused Peilisali, a flexible and more intimate event space.

In the restaurant and lobby halls, bar and sales counters as well as other furnishings have been updated to better meet the needs of larger audiences. The colors and shapes honor the original spirit of the iconic building.

The design of Kult Club and other public spaces has been carried out in close collaboration between ASM Global, Fyra, and JKMM Interiors.