The renovation of Stoa is progressing – Helsinki residents now have the opportunity to give their opinion on the new services

A major renovation and expansion project will begin at Cultural Centre Stoa in 2028. In this connection, Stoa’s services and facilities will also be renewed. City residents have participated in brainstorming and designing the new Stoa. Based on residents’ wishes and ideas as well as demographic forecast data, an initial vision and service concept for 2030 was created for Stoa this spring.
Kesäinen kuva Kulttuurikeskus Stoasta. Punatiilinen rakennus vihreiden puiden lomassa.
Photo: Maarit Hohteri

Residents hope that the future Stoa will be the most attractive place to spend time in Eastern Helsinki, a place of community spirit to encounter diverse cultures. People want Stoa to offer interesting and surprising cultural programme and to be a place to hang out, do recreational activities and to learn either independently or with a teacher. The new vision and service concept will be presented and open to comments in Stoa’s lobby from 20 to 27 March 2024, as well as on the leads to external service) website from 20 March to 3 April 2024. 

A versatile Stoa, just like the residents

Eastern Helsinki is an interesting area in Finland. It has a rapidly growing and diversifying population, and already more than 40% of residents in Itäkeskus speak something other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi as their mother tongue. In designing and brainstorming Stoa’s vision and new service concept, information was collected from city residents in various ways, such as interviews, online surveys, workshops and community artwork. The goal was that, regardless of their background, all Helsinki residents had the chance to participate. Forecasts regarding the demographic development of the area impact the planning as well.

“We were able to involve a diverse range of the area’s residents in the planning of the future Stoa, including the diverse language groups of Eastern Helsinki. This is a good starting point for the renewal, as we want to ensure that Stoa becomes a genuinely regional cultural centre that the people of Eastern Helsinki find interesting and consider as their own,” says Culture Director Mari Männistö.

“Stoa and Eastern Helsinki are currently in the spotlight, as they are developing at a rapid pace in the next few years; the population is growing and diversifying strongly in the region. The data collection phase made it clear that the residents are already proud of the area. According to the vision, our role is to be a neighbour that brings everyone together. Among other things, this means that we discuss tricky topics, celebrate the area’s various cultures and bring people and ideas around the same table,” says Antti Sarpo, Director of Stoa.

There is still time to impact the future of Stoa

In March-April, it will be possible to participate in the planning of the future Stoa, as the vision 2030 and service concept are presented and open for comments from the city’s residents. After this, the vision and service concept are finalised to their final form.


Stoa Futures Lab II: Go East! – designing the hub of your life 20–27 March 2024, Stoa’s lobby

Welcome to comment on Stoa’s vision 2030 and service concept! The plans can also be viewed and commented at leads to external service) from 20 March to 3 April 2024.

Cultural Centre Stoa is home to the following operators: Helsinki Cultural Services, Itäkeskus Library, Kipinä Youth Activity House, Finnish Adult Education Centre, Swedish Adult Education Centre Arbis and restaurant Box Stoa. The Futures Lab is the operators’ joint project. 

Stoa opening hours:

Mon–Thu 8.00–20.00
Fri 8.00–18.00
Sat 10.00–16.00
Sun 12.00–18.00


Additional information:

Minna Roine | Communications Specialist | +358 40 192 4579 | opens default mail program)

Antti Sarpo | Director, Stoa | +358 40 184 6138 | opens default mail program)