Culture Factory Vernissa and Fire-fighting Equipment Warehouse

House for the youth

Project description:

The Culture Factory Vernissa, or the old varnish factory, is located along the river Keravanjoki near Tikkurila station, and it is a valuable part of the cityscape. Vernissa is a cultural space for young people managed by the City of Vantaa Youth Services. It provides a place for diverse cultural and leisure activities. The building was completed in 1912—1937, but its oldest parts date back to the late 19th century. The building has thus emerged as a result of several different stages of construction; its particularly recognisable parts include the extension of the varnish kitchen, built in 1937 on the verge of the river, and the high brickwork chimney of the compression plant built in 1913. The building, which was taken over by the youth in 1985, was renovated for its current use as a multipurpose and cultural space following the plans of architect Risto Mäkelä. The conversion work preserved some of the old equipment of the factory and the power units of the canal’s hydroelectric power plant under the building. The current Culture Factory Vernissa has been operating in the building since 1990. Situated on the Vernissa lot is an old single-story factory fire-fighting equipment warehouse built in the mid-1930s, with a tall hose tower. The building’s balcony offers an unhampered view of the river Keravanjoki and the riverside park.   

Both buildings will be renovated, and necessary alterations will be implemented in order to further develop Vernissa’s current youth and cultural activities. The renovation of the Culture Factory is essentially related to the development of the riverside area, the park designed by Loci Landscape Architects and the renovation of Tikkurilankoski to its natural state. Built on the riverside, the park offers the opportunity for Culture Factory Vernissa to develop its current activities in an even closer relationship with its unique environment. The development of the facilities and activities of the building, along with the park, will further increase the appeal of the area and at the same time Vernissa.   

In the renovation, the main changes to Vernissa are functional improvements in the animation workshop, winch hall theatre space, varnish hall and music teaching facilities, as well as the expansion of the kitchen facilities in the cafeteria. The simultaneous usability of Vernissa’s public spaces is increased by opening an entrance near the old main entrance. The Vernissa yard area along the river will be developed to be more usable. The fire-fighting equipment warehouse will be renovated, and the interior will be turned into a music rehearsal space. 

Project info:

Client:City of Vantaa
Location:Tikkurila, Vantaa
Size:Vernissa 2 769,6 m2
Warehouse 56 m
Protection status: The former varnish factory building is a building heritage site and both the factory and the warehouse are protected by the planning notation sr
Original construction date: Vernissa 1912–1937
Warehouse 1930s
Principal designer:Minna Lukander
Project architect:Riitta Tuomisto, Ville Kuhmonen
Other team members:Minna Vuorenpää, Mirella Abe, Otto Honkamaa, Emilia Nysten
Photos:Pyry Kantonen

In collaboration with A-konsultit Architects.