This spring, Open House Helsinki invites the public once again to explore some of the city’s most intriguing architectural sites that are typically closed to the general public. Due to the event's growing popularity, this year’s edition, running from May 16 to May 19, will feature extended durations and increased participant numbers for its tours, with themes focusing on reuse and urban planning.

Open House Helsinki provides a unique opportunity for city dwellers to engage with expertly designed spaces while discussing the intricacies of these sites with architects and specialists. Among the highlights for this year's tours are visits to the 2023 Finlandia Prize for Architecture winner, Daycare Martta Wendelini, noted for its innovative use of wood, and the recently renovated Helsinki-Vantaa Airport which underwent a decade-long development program. Additional significant tour sites include the largest church building in Helsinki, Lauttasaari Church, designed by Marja and Keijo Petäjä, and the newly reopened Cultural House.

This year, free guided tours will also include the popular DTM nightclub at the Meatpacking District, among many other fascinating destinations. Registration for the public tours opens on April 23 at noon, with tours accommodating between twenty to fifty people each. Previous years have seen these tours booked out rapidly.

“We have particularly focused on increasing the number of participants and tour availability this year, due to the high demand. The event is also extended by one day to include Thursday programming. I recommend acting quickly if you are interested in the tours,” says producer Aapo Markkula from Openhouse ry, the organizing body.

The event continues last year's theme of reuse and expands it to include a focus on urban planning. Special guided walking tours will provide insights into the urban development of areas like Kruunuvuorenranta and Katajanokka, highlighting how different historical layers complement each other in urban settings.

Additionally, the Weekly Talks panel discussion will delve into the future of Helsinki’s core areas, discussing the identity, appeal, and development of the city center. This event, in collaboration with Helsinki Design Weekly (Luovi Productions), will take place on May 18 at the Allas Sea Pool meeting space.

New this year, Open House Helsinki partners with Architecture and Design Days, offering theme tours in Vuosaari that preview topics from the upcoming ArkMuoto 2024 event.

For a detailed schedule and registration for the public tours, visitors can check the event’s website. This annual event not only opens doors to hidden architectural gems but also fosters a broader appreciation and dialogue about urban space and design in Helsinki.