Turku City Theatre
Turku Art Academy is located on the River Aurajoki in an old dockyard area, the use of which was the subject of an architectural competition organised by the city of Turku in 1989.
In the plan, based on Kenneth and Marianne Lundell’s winning entry, the old properties were divided into spaces allotted for teaching, museum, and office purposes. In 1993-1994 the old rope factory, designed by Gunnar Wahlroos and completed in 1934, and the neighbouring shipyard hall from 1928 were converted into classrooms for the Turku Conservatory.
The other shipyard hall, which originally had two storeys, was planned for the use of the Institute of Art and Media and the painting, drawing, and graphics classrooms of the Drawing School (now Turku Arts Academy). The rope track containing exhibition rooms, small ateliers and student union rooms connects the shipyard hall with the new building, houses the sculpting rooms and workshops.
On the exterior, the buildings remain nearly in their original state. Inside the load-bearing structures made of riveted steel were all preserved in their worn, rusty state. Large open hall spaces were divided into rooms so as to preserve the original sense of space as one moves from one space to another. In the shipbuilding hall, old structural elements inherently part of the workings of the old hall were utilised where possible. Such elements were, e.g. the old horizontally moving bridge cranes, one of which now supports the entry’s exterior roof, the other the second-level lobby platform above the main entry lobby.
Building on the site began in the summer of 1993 and was finished in the fall of 1994. The redevelopment was designed by architect Mikko Pulkkinen, Pauno Narjus and Philip Kronqvist. They were assisted by Miikka Hirsimäki, Marja-Terttu Malkaniemi, Kauko Nissilä, Pirkko Paavola-Häggblom, Sinikka Selänne, Hannu Tenho, Kaarina Toivonen and Lea Vehviläinen.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 5/1995, 5/1997