Our studio is situated in the rugged industrial zone of Vallila in the former factory complex of the Orion pharmaceutical company. The most thrilling thing about the area is its tolerance and diversity. During the day, the area is buzzing with office workers and bankers, and by night the streets fill up with music and lively life from studios and workshops scattered here and there.
Vallila is one of the northernmost districts in the downtown area. The area was originally used for rearing cattle. The southern part of Vallila was developed in the 1930s into an industrial zone that has slowly been transformed into office buildings.
As was often the case with working class residential areas, Vallila also mostly had small apartments. The area now primarily contains apartment blocks but an area of wooden houses called Puu-Vallila ('Wood Vallila') remains here to this day. The area is a model district built according to contemporary ideas about ideal construction and city planning . It was under threat of being demolished completely, but was instead fully refurbished in the 1980s, preserving its unique architectural value.
In addition to Puu-Vallila, landmarks in the area include Saint Paul's Church, the Vallila allotment gardens, and the former industrial complex called Pasilan konepaja. The complex used to house several machine shops and brick buildings of the State Railways and is in a process of being transformed into a residential and office site. The area depends on e.g. The Folks Hotel, Konepaja Biergarten, Oluthuone Konepaja and a variable number of food stalls. Geezers the Shop is an art supply store where you can buy paints, markers, magazines, and Carhartt and Dickies clothing. The Vallila National Theater will operate from the unified stages of the National Theater from autumn 2020. During the renovation, it will replace the small stage.
A part of the oldest industrial buildings in Vallila have been turned into studio and workshop spaces for artists and designers. From Monday to Friday, a common sight on Teollisuuskatu are bank workers: the headquarters of three major banks are situated next to one another in Vallila.