Cultural Organisation

Suoja/ Shelter Festival-Laboratory

Helsinki, Finland


  • Helsinki 00500
  • Finland




In the centre of Helsinki, there is a deep cave in the rock almost 100 meters long. This is a bomb shelter built during the Cold War. Today such facilities in Finland are universally adapted for peaceful purposes, being turned into cultural centres, car parks or sports halls. Shelters are equipped with a ventilation system, massive cast-iron gates and an emergency communication system with the loudspeakers placed on the ceiling. All the equipment works fine and, if necessary, is ready to accommodate residents of a neighbourhood. If Moscow and St. Petersburg subways are designed to protect the population in the event of a nuclear strike, then the cave in Helsinki was originally built as a bomb shelter with another possible use in peacetime. In our case, it is redesigned into the Space for Free Arts / Vapaan Taiteen Tila under the auspices of the University of the Arts Helsinki and is a regular site for artistic experiments.