Weegee exhibition centre - Tapiola - Finnland
WeeGee Exhibition Centre is a conversion of a former Weilin+Göös printing house designed by Aarno Ruusuvuori to the first industrial area of the tapiola garden city in the 60s.
The building was completed in three phases of which the two first are by Ruusuvuori and the third by Bertel Ekengren.
After the printing press operations were relocated in 1992, the building was converted into a cultural space by late 2005. The renovation work was designed by Airas Arkkitehdit.
Today the building houses five different museums, an art school, a cafe and a high school that is located in the third part realised by Ekengren.
Eight large concrete pylons that support the second floor roof from above make one of WeeGee’s distinctive features and leave the vast indoor spaces free of any loadbearing walls.
The renovation takes into account the inherent industrial character by maintaining the large dimensions and open spaces and by leaving the concrete structure visible. Most of the new technical equipment are hidden inside the 3 meter diameter of the
Out of respect toward the history of the building the original concrete floor is left in its original state: the joint between the first and the second construction phase as well as all the traces of removed walls and places of the printing machinery can be seen in the concrete floor still today.
The factory building ended up being an ideal structure for a new museum of contemporary art: apart from the two new fire escapes that extend outside the main volume, the renovation of WeeGee leaves the brutalist architecture almost exactly as it has been for the past 50 years.
[project selected by Tuuli Ilona Kanerva]