Helsinki does not want to make families run from one bureau to the next. That is why the city's first family centre was opened in Itäkeskus in the summer.

Bright. Colourful. Functional. These words are repeated over and over again in the corridors of the family centre in Itäkeskus where Hanna Viitala, head of the City of Helsinki's family services, presents the new facilities.

"It's wonderful that this place is so urban; we can use the metro and we have all this bustle around us," she says.

The large windows of the family centre open to the Tallinnanaukio of Itäkeskus, home to both a metro and a bus station.

This is exactly the type of location the City of Helsinki was hoping for when, a few years ago, the reorganisation of family services initiated its early planning stages. The organisers were looking for a property with easy public transport access from any direction and with enough space.

After all, the first family centre of Helsinki is not just an ordinary child welfare clinic. The centre also offers domestic services, counselling concerning child rearing and families, child protection and services for the disabled.

The idea is that families no longer need to run from bureau to bureau.

"The family centre is very family-oriented. This model enables us to provide support for families on time," says Viitala.

After the family centre opened its doors in June, various organisations as well as the local congregation have been invited to join the activities. This increasingly expands the support network available to the families.

Itäkeskus family centre undergoes thorough renovation

The city originally planned to open its first family centre downtown. In the end, however, the most suitable facilities were found in a property owned by Sponda in Itäkeskus.

The facilities have previously hosted a police station and a bank, which is why they still featured a jail and a bank vault. The vault was demolished in the renovation.

As the family centre required accessible facilities, a new lift was built in the middle of the property. The renovation included a large number of other changes as well from ventilation to lighting.

"There isn't one spot in the property we haven't touched," says Tuuli Auvinen, account manager at Sponda.

The demolition of the property and the construction of the new facilities took about a year. According to Auvinen, the property, originally completed in the mid-1980s, would have been renovated regardless of the tenant. When the family centre ended up as the tenant, the renovation was planned together.

"The family centre is very family-oriented. This model enables us to provide support for families on time," says Viitala.

After the family centre opened its doors in June, various organisations as well as the local congregation have been invited to join the activities. This increasingly expands the support network available to the families.

Itäkeskus family centre undergoes thorough renovation

The city originally planned to open its first family centre downtown. In the end, however, the most suitable facilities were found in a property owned by Sponda in Itäkeskus.

The facilities have previously hosted a police station and a bank, which is why they still featured a jail and a bank vault. The vault was demolished in the renovation.

As the family centre required accessible facilities, a new lift was built in the middle of the property. The renovation included a large number of other changes as well from ventilation to lighting.

"There isn't one spot in the property we haven't touched," says Tuuli Auvinen, account manager at Sponda.

The demolition of the property and the construction of the new facilities took about a year. According to Auvinen, the property, originally completed in the mid-1980s, would have been renovated regardless of the tenant. When the family centre ended up as the tenant, the renovation was planned together.

Published

24.10.2017
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Itäkatu 11, Helsinki, Itäkeskus
Itäkatu 11
9150m²

Property contact

Tuuli Auvinen
Asiakkuuspäällikkö