Puistokatu 4
What is it about?

Puistokatu 4, located in the Kaivopuisto district in Helsinki, Finland, is a safe space for research, work and discourse on the current ecological crisis. Puistokatu 4 is a co-project of the TAH Foundation and Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation.

Floor 2 houses the offices of the TAH Foundation, the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation and the Forum for Environmental Information.  The Puistokatu 4 team also works on this floor. In addition, a varying group of Puistokatu 4 members, called Agents, are based in the floor. Their work is linked to our mission in one way or another: building an ecologically sustainable future at the personal level, following the principles of a safer space and constructive discourse.

Floor 3 houses the Science Attic, a co-working space, base and meeting place for researchers of the ecological crisis from various fields of science.

Ground floor of the house, intended as an extended living-room for everyone in Helsinki, houses a library and Restaurant Elm.

The premises of Puistokatu 4 have been renovated to make them accessible for all visitors.

History of the house

The first version of Puistokatu 4 was completed 140 years ago, as Carl Henrik Nummelin, engineer and cartographer, had the house built for himself in the late 1870s. However, it was soon completely destroyed by fire in 1886.

The villa, as it is now, was erected on the same site in the early 1890s. The new inhabitants were Ida Aalberg, the most famous actress of her time, and her spouse, lawyer Lauri Kivekäs.

After being a private residence for a few decades, the villa was converted into a school building in 1916. At first, it housed the private Svenska Samskolan school and then the French school and kindergarten.

The Foundation for the Museum of Finnish Architecture leased Puistokatu 4 from the City of Helsinki in 1959. For the next several decades, the villa housed the exhibitions and offices of the Museum of Finnish Architecture.

By the 2000s, the house began to suffer from moisture damage and decay in the structures. The extensive refurbishment that the house required was too costly for the Museum of Finnish Architecture, and eventually the museum moved out.

The building stood almost completely empty for years until in January 2020 TAH Foundation bought it. The renovation began in autumn 2020 and was completed in summer 2022.

Read more about the history of the house and the renovation in the  report of the history of the Puistokatu 4 building and its architecture by Livady Architects!

“We want Puistokatu 4 to be a place where researchers can become active contributors to social discourse and where data backed by research can interact with the reality of various groups of people.”

Minttu Jaakkola, Executive Director of Puistokatu 4
Minttu Jaakkola, Executive Director of Puistokatu 4

“I would like people in various positions of power to examine the building blocks of the future and to share our thoughts and insights in peace. In the best case scenario, to become radical, at least with tiny steps!”

Anna Herlin, Head of Development of TAH Foundation
Anna Herlin, Head of Development of TAH Foundation