Photographs: Stadion-säätiö/Wellu Hämäläinen
HELSINKI—Described as “a bold example of functionalist architecture,” the renovated Helsinki Olympic Stadium is ready to open for public. “I am convinced that its architects Yrjö Lindegren and Toivo Jäntti would be proud and content to examine the results of the refurbishment work now completed,” Annika Saarikko (Centre), the minister of science and culture, said in a statement released during the inauguration on Monday.
The stadium now reopens after an extensive refurbishment and renewal project. The work has been done, according to the statement, “respecting the original architecture, making sustainable choices and fostering the old, genuine and warm atmosphere.”
Changes in the original architecture, which are few, serve a welcome purpose. For example, the new underground facilities offer a playground for various ballgames and activities.
“The Olympic Stadium crystallizes a unique part of our past and embodies memorable moments in Finnish history. I find it inspiring that the heart of the Olympics summer of 1952 is now ready to go on as the venue of the unforgettable moments of both sports and culture,” Saarikko said.
The official opening ceremony is held on Saturday, August 22. The ceremonies are followed by a week of open doors. The stadium tower opens on August 31. All visits during the open doors as well as to the tower are organized with tickets booked and collected in advance, respecting any eventual instructions issued by the authorities regarding public gatherings.
The opening weeks continue all September when the Helsinki inhabitants are welcome to exercise at the stadium. The track and field area of the Stadium is open to the public from September 14 to 19. The stadium events also start during the opening weeks. The first event is the match of the National League (Women’s Finnish Football Championship Series) on August 19.