A political hotspot, architectural pearl and award-winning venue
TEXT: MARI KOSKINEN | PHOTOS © FINLANDIA HALL
Finlandia Hall is famous for its architecture, top-level political summits and concerts and, perhaps especially, as a vibrant event venue. Last year, it won an award as Best Congress Venue in the world at the Bea World Festival, the Oscars of the international event community.
“There is only one Finlandia Hall; it is truly a unique place to work,” says CEO Johanna Tolonen. “I still feel thrilled every time I walk down the Piazza steps.” When Tolonen started working here, in 2012, the veranda extension was just completed, and this made Finlandia Hall an even more versatile and adaptable venue for many kinds of events.
Finlandia Hall was designed by the renowned Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto. “Every detail in the building was designed by Aalto, and his goal was to create space that was not just for admiration, but first and foremost to be used and utilised,” explains Tolonen. “The multipurpose spaces give us countless options to create exceptional events. We want the guests to go home with deeply impressed hearts and souls.”
Throughout the years, Finlandia Hall has been continuously evolving. “We aim to comply with the modern requirements for responsible business without sacrificing our unique nature,” explains Tolonen. “For example, the decision to install solar panels is in line with our long-term strategy to invest in energy efficiency and other environmentally friendly actions. Finlandia Hall also meets the criteria of ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 quality and environmental management standards.”
In two years’ time, Finlandia Hall celebrates its 50th anniversary. International high-level political meetings have played a major part in the history of the venue. At the Trump-Putin summit in 2018, Finlandia Hall functioned as the media centre for 1,500 international reporters. The Finlandia Hall team was able to set up this top-level event in just five days, and it became famous for its fresh feeling and efficient and wide-ranging services.
“The next significant milestone for us is Finland’s presidency of the EU Council, starting in July 2019,” explains Tolonen. “This means up to 80 meetings that are held here at Finlandia Hall. With that and many other great events, the year 2019 looks set to become the biggest year in Finlandia Hall’s history.”
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00100 Helsinki, Finland