The European Chemicals Agency ECHA moves from Annankatu street to its new premises in Telakkaranta in early 2020. ECHA is one of the EU’s largest agencies and it works for the safe use of chemicals in the area of the European Union.
The Chemicals Agency’s new premises consist of two buildings. One is a former machine workshop, now completely refurbished, of the old dockyard. The actual office building is new, partly built on top of an old carpentry workshop.
The European Chemicals Agency’s 8-storey office building, developed and built by Skanska, is located right at the heart of Telakkaranta at Telakkakatu 6. An old brick-built carpentry workshop building, whose exterior has been protected, remains inside and a part of the new building. The protected old machine workshop building next to it has also been completely rebuilt. The machine workshop building will include a meeting and event centre. A pedestrian passage has been built between the two buildings. The architectural design has been carried out by L Architects Ltd.
All of ECHA’s around 600 employees will move to the new premises. These have been designed with flexibility, openness and light in mind. The house will have, for example, premises for visitors, and a restaurant for the personnel. The facade is in line with the red brick image of the old industrial buildings of the Telakkaranta area. The old premises of the Chemicals Agency on Annankatu will be rebuilt into a Scandic conference hotel.
“We are really excited for ECHA to be a part of the unique and growing Telakkaranta area, with its historical and cultural significance. In addition to our staff, the modern and sustainable premises will serve thousands of international visitors we bring to Helsinki every year, contributing positively to the image of the city. Our new buildings have given a new lease of life to the former shipyard and this is also how we see our work evolving: we are building something new on solid foundations. Today, we know more about the chemicals used in Europe than ever before and this will eventually lead to better protection for people and the environment”, says ECHA’s Executive Director Bjorn Hansen.
ECHA’s upcoming office premises have become an impressive landmark of Telakkaranta. Image: Antti Pulkkinen.
Telakkaranta opens up to Helsinki residents
Homes to 400 residents of Helsinki are currently being built next to the Chemicals Agency. This new construction is reforming the area, which has previously been closed and mainly used for dockyard functions. The old industrial buildings are being converted into office premises, commercial spaces and culture spaces. The original atmosphere of Telakkaranta will include the history of the dockyard, the marina and the cruise ships of the passenger harbour.
"The premises of the European Chemicals Agency is the first project to be completed in Telakkaranta, whose reconstruction opens up an old industrial inner city area to residents and visitors. By offering a functional City as a platform for an international actor like the ECHA, we consolidate our reputation and our ability to attract the best talent and ideas from the rest of the world to Helsinki”, says Urban Development Manager Kari Pudas.
The construction of the streets in the area is underway. Telakkakatu street is due for completion by summer 2021, and the cross streets will be built in pace with building construction. On the quay area of the beach, there will be a promenade with cafés, restaurants and historic ships. The reconstruction of Telakkaranta will also liven up life on Hietalahdenlaituri waterfront street.
Telakkaranta is due for completion by the end of 2026.
Further information about Telakkaranta (only in Finnish or Swedish): https://www.uuttahelsinkia.fi/fi/hernesaari-ja-telakkaranta
Further information about the Chemicals Agency: https://echa.europa.eu/home