Puistokatu 4
A Space for
What is it about?

Puistokatu 4, located in the Kaivopuisto district in Helsinki, Finland, is an event space for people in Helsinki and a safe space for research, work and discourse on the current ecological crisis.

The house will be opened gradually during the summer and autumn 2022. First to open is the ground floor (Floor 1) of the house, intended as an extended living-room for everyone in Helsinki. It houses a library and Restaurant Elm, scheduled to open in July 2022.

Floor 2 will house the new offices of  the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation, the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation and  the Forum for Environmental Information.  The Puistokatu 4 team will also work on this floor.

In autumn 2022, a science attic will be opened on Floor 3 of the house to provide a co-working space, base and meeting place for researchers of the ecological crisis from various fields of science. The open call for research post applications is now open!

In addition, a varying group of Puistokatu 4 members, called Agents, will be based in the house. 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.

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, and nobody seemed to want it, until in January 2020, the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation bought it. The renovation began in autumn 2020 and was completed in summer 2022.

Puistokatu 4, the joint project of the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation and the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation, will be opened to the public in July–August 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, Executive Director of Puistokatu 4
Anna Herlin, Executive Director of Puistokatu 4