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Skanska implemented the renovation of the Porthania building of the University of Helsinki. The building was originally built in 1957. The objective was to retain Porthania's facade and exteriors surfaces as they were and to carry out the renovation honoring the traditions of the 1950's. The renovation project improved the user friendliness of the building by for example modernizing the technical solutions of the building. The renovation was completed in the spring of 2006.The renovation of Porthania was awarded the title of Construction Site of the Year in 2005 by construction magazine Rakennuslehti, the largest construction business magazine in the Nordic countries. It was the first time in the twenty-year history of the competition that the award was given to a renovation project. The Porthania construction site was the best site ever in terms of occupational safety. Skanska has implemented several other renovation projects for the University of Helsinki in downtown Helsinki.
Hanketyyppi: Building, Education, Higher education
Construction Site of the Year 2005
by Finnish Construction magazine Rakennuslehti.
Europa Nostra Medal 2006 in Architectural Heritage -series
The jury stated that the renovation and functional modernization of Porthania as a large and significant university building has been based on careful planning and respect for the original features of the building. The renovation of Porthania is a great example of preserving the heritage of the 20th century.
Gross area 20 700 sqm
Volume 69 500 cum
Constructing the project
Built in 1957, the institutional Porthania building of the University of Helsinki was one of the main works of architect Aarne Ervi. Many of the technical solutions used were novelties of the time. Porthania is deemed Finland's first building manufactured mostly from prefabricated elements. Other designing principles with Porthania were general validity and renovation flexibility, as well as open spaces and plenty of light to increase the comfort of university students. The purpose with the major renovation was to improve the building's compliance with modern requirements. The extensive renovation included, for example, renewing all mechanical and electric technology elements of the building. The spirit of the 1950's was also returned to the building's exterior surfaces and indoor premises at the same time. Worn out surface structures and accessories were prudently replaced, and many pieces of furniture and light fixtures designed by Aarne Ervi exclusively for Porthania were repaired and then returned back into use. The lecture rooms, drawing facilities, sports facilities and student cafeterias are still used for the same purposes as when the building was originally built. The architect office of Nurmela-Raimoranta-Tasa was in charge of the architectural design of the renovation project.
According to the jury that selected the winner of the Construction Site of the Year 2005 award, the Porthania construction site was the best site ever in terms of occupational safety. The jury was also impressed by the professional expertise of people implementing the demanding renovation project, the innovative atmosphere of the construction site and open communication in particular.The renovation of the Porthania building was also awarded the Europa Nostra award in the 2006 Building Heritage series. In its arguments, the jury stated that the renovation and functional modernization of the large and significant university building was based on careful surveys and honoring the original nature of the building. The Porthania renovation is a model example of retaining 20th century traditions.