Opportunity to tour the main venue during Helsinki Design Week

The festival theme – We Are Open – will become literally true as the doors of the main venue, a marble palace locked up since it was completed, open up to the people in Helsinki. Altogether twelve tours guided by architects will be organized during the festival.

The iconic property at Kanavaranta 1 known by its nickname “The Sugar Cube” was designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1962. Throughout the years it was an office building, serving first as the headquarters of Enso-Gutzeit, then of Stora Enso. Now The Sugar Cube is looking for new tenants. Made of marble, glass, wood, copper, brass, leather and light, the property was listed for conservation in 2010. The basis for the listing was clear: the significance of Alvar Aalto in Finland and the architectural value of the HQ building.

The guided tours open to all are organized in cooperation with Archtours, a network company founded by Helsinki-based architects 24 years ago to produce architecture and urban design-themed guided tours in Europe. The guides are competent local architects, urban planners and art historians. The tours have been designed by Archtours CEO, D.Sc. (Tech.) and architect Marianna Heikinheimo, the head designer and architect of the Kanavaranta 1 conversion project. Heikinheimo wrote her doctoral thesis on Aalto’s architecture and has worked as an expert and designer in various conversion and renovation projects involving buildings designed by Aalto.

The tours take approximately 45 minutes in either Finnish or English. During the tour, the participants will hear about the history of the building and see the objectives and the process of the architects. There is no need for previous knowledge about architecture or design – anyone is welcome to join.

Kanavaranta 1 is open daily 2–11 September at 16–22. The tours start at 15 and 16. The Kuurna x HDW pop-up restaurant serves visitors daily (excl. Sundays) at 18–22. Artek Winebar is open daily at 16–22; booking is not needed to visit the bar. For more detailed information about the schedules and signing up, click here. Please note that signing up is binding. Helsinki Design Week 1–11 September 2022.