Kulosaari shopping center

A building historical survey of a representative of the 1960s lifestyle.
Architectural study
Kulosaari, Helsinki
City of Kerava
Architects Rudanko + Kankkunen Oy, Kerava Museum
Veijo Laine, 1953-1959, Finna. NEMO architects.
A brief building history study was conducted on the Kulosaari shopping centre as part of the development plans for the area. Shopping centres came to Finland with the new American urban planning. The increasing use of cars led to suburbanization: people moved to sub-urban regions further away from city centres to have more space. The residential neighbourhoods were built around the shopping centres, a completely new building type in the 1950s and 1960s.
The architecture of the Kulosaari shopping center, built in 1960, has stood the test of time in terms of its design language. The shopping center is a fine example both as a building type and, more broadly, as a representative of the architecture of its era. The architecture of the building represents the characteristics of the 1950s and 1960s, with clear masses, straight lines, and a sculptural design. Architect Erkki Karvinen has emphasized horizontal lines with wide white front surfaces.
The shopping center has a human-like and pleasant scale, with beautifully executed details and graceful structures. Although the facade materials are mostly original and well-preserved, large-scale repairs are required for the center's structures, as noted in a building condition survey.