Property investment company Sponda Plc is developing the comfortable, airy and modern Citycenter shopping center in a prime location in downtown Helsinki. The multi-year project that has been completed over several phases is now nearing completion, with the topping-out ceremony for the final phase being held at the site on Thursday, January 24, 2013.
The final phase of construction scheduled for completion in spring 2013 will add approximately 7,000 m² of new or renovated retail premises to Citycenter. The new and renovated retail premises will be located on the Keskuskatu side, replacing a former maintenance facility on the second basement level of the underground station tunnel. New retail space is also being added in a passageway connecting the Compass level of the railway station metro stop to the Makkaratalo building.
The glass cover for the Saarinen courtyard has already been completed, the Citycenter car ramps have been removed from the Keskuskatu side and the facade of the shopping center has been moved ten meters towards Keskuskatu. The shopping center's new main entrance on the Keskuskatu side will also be opened during this phase. In total, the project will increase Citycenter's leasable area from 41,000 m² to 56,000 m².
A traditional place of trade transforms into an airy and comfortable shopping center
Having served as a meeting place and retail site since the early 20th century, the Citycenter complex has gone through a remarkable transformation during the project. The most significant change is the building's increased brightness. A new light well opened through the ceiling brings natural light to every floor of the shopping center. The final phase of construction will see the light well extended to the underground levels of the station tunnel. The bright natural light is complemented by an LED light installation.
With some 65 shops already open for business, the range of services and shopping opportunities offered by the shopping center is set to grow with approximately 30 shops as the new and renovated retail premises are completed. One of the new arrivals is Anttila, which will open a department store in Citycenter in spring 2013. The completion of a new underground passageway will provide direct access from the Compass level of the railway station metro stop to the Anttila department store.
The current phase of construction began in September 2011 and has proceeded on schedule despite the challenges presented by the operating environment in the heart of the city. Carrying out construction work in an area with high pedestrian traffic, and in a building that is already in active use, involves numerous challenges. Nevertheless, the Citycenter retail premises are open to customers and pedestrian access is maintained throughout the construction project.
Energy efficiency leaps from the 1960s to the 2010s
Designed by Viljo Revell and traditionally known among Helsinki residents as Makkaratalo, or Sausage House, the Citycenter building represents the concrete architecture of its era. Sponda's con