A postindustrial fairytale

By the end of the eighties the industrial production had moved out of the area. Ruoholahti was rebuilt into a residential area and City of Helsinki planned to demolish the charismatic building. Artists and architects, who had rented the space there in search of a quiet working place and cheap rents, persuaded the City of Helsinki to keep the building in its original form. Nowadays it is a distinguished cultural centre that hosts around 800 events annually and is the working place of 100 artist and 70 bands.

 

Since last summer, the Cable Factory has a new landlord. Born in 1972, Tuomas “Stuba” Nikula is the new Managing Director of Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo, the company behind the Cable Factory building whose turnover in 2005 was 3.5 million euros. As any other landlord in the world, the current duties concerning Kaapeli are to “fix the building and rent the space”, as Stuba himself explains. Kaapeli itself is not devoted to cultural production, “That is left to our tenants,” continues the director.

{mosimage}From his position Stuba Nikula gets a good overview of today's Finnish culture. "It seems that for anything to be good it has to be exported, but to achieve that goal more work is needed and more spaces for the youngsters and newcomers.” In a world where influences travel within one second, for Scuba a challenge for the future is “to keep the Finnish touch in our cultural production and, for that, public money is needed.”Meanwhile, the Cable Factory is “fully booked” for long time agreements. “Contracts are permanent and only two or three tenants out of 100 moved out every year. The population here is getting as old as the building,” Stuba jokes. For the short term rentals the calendar is already opened for 2009. If you plan an exhibition or a fair, hurry up. The space and dates are booked on a first come, first served basis.