The Main Building of the University of Helsinki to undergo renovation

The Board of the University of Helsinki has made a decision on renovating the Main Building of the University. The first stage will begin in the summer of 2019, lasting approximately two years. The purpose of the renovation is to bring the technical and functional features of the property up to modern standards.

During the first stage, the renovation will focus on the side facing Senate Square, designed by C. L. Engel, and the wings located on Yliopistonkatu and Aleksanterinkatu.

 “The renovation is intended to transform the facilities of the Main Building into modern teaching facilities, that is, to better meet the needs of current methods of studying and teaching,” says Tom Böhling, vice-rector in charge of University facilities.

During the renovation, accessibility, facility and fire safety, as well as indoor air quality will be improved.

 “The old part of the Main Building was completed in 1832, and it falls short of the requirements of modern accessibility regulations. The façade of the building will also be renovated, while the outdated  building technology systems will be replaced. After the renovation, the functionality and accessibility of the facilities will be improved,” explains Teppo Salmikivi, director of the Facilities and Properties sector.

The intention is to have the Great Hall of the Main Building available for the conferment ceremony to be held in May 2021, while teaching facilities should be completed by the beginning of the autumn term 2021. A more detailed plan and the related decision will be made at a later date for the second stage, focused on the new part of the building facing Fabianinkatu. All in all, the estimated duration of the renovation of the Main Building is five years.

The renovation will be carried out as an alliance project, with the University of Helsinki, YIT Suomi Oy and Jeskanen–Repo–Teränne Arkkitehdit Oy as participants. The renovation has been planned together with University employees, the parties active in the building and several specialists. For example, the accessibility aspects of the renovation were discussed with the Threshold Association.