Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo, KAAPELI, was established in 1991. We own, renovate and rent out old industrial buildings. Our role is to make space for art and culture in Helsinki.
From marine cables to Pro Kaapeli
The Cable Factory was inaugurated in the Ruoholahti district of Helsinki in 1943. The premises were built in stages between 1939 and 1954, and on completion were the largest building in Finland. At first marine cables were manufactured at the Cable Factory. Later on, Finland’s first supercomputer was located there. The development of Nokia mobile phones also began at the Cable Factory.
As cable manufacturing was wound down, artists began to move into the factory premises in the late 1980s and turned the dilapidated yet spacious halls into workspaces for themselves. In 1990 the Pro Kaapeli association was set up to defend the diverse cultural and other activities at the Cable Factory, and the following year the City of Helsinki set up the property company Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo to manage the building. Over the years all the premises have been renovated at least once.
Between 2019 and 2022 KAAPELI built the new Dance House Helsinki next to the old Cable Factory industrial building, and part of the inner courtyard was covered over to make a new main entrance and lobby.
Nowadays the Cable Factory is one of the largest cultural centres in Finland, and hundreds of creative tenants work there. There is plenty for all devotees of culture to do, see and experience in the unique factory atmosphere.
Electricity and gas give way to culture
Suvilahti is a former electrical power plant and gasworks built in the early 1900s, and comprises nine buildings, two gasholders and a yard area. Electricity generation ceased in the 1970s, and in the early 1980s the power plant was turned into a warehouse and sports facilities. Gas production ended in the early 1990s. Temporary cultural activities had already started up in the area.
KAAPELI took over management of Suvilahti in 2008. First the earth under the yard area was rehabilitated and contaminated earth was removed. Renovation of the buildings is still ongoing. In 2021 the City of Helsinki renovated the brick structure of the gasholder, and renovation of the steel gasholder has begun.
All sorts of cultural practitioners and organisers of large public events and festivals have taken to Suvilahti’s rugged cultural centre. Suvilahti is located right next to the up and coming Kalasatama residential district.
New life for head office
Orion plc built the N10 building in Helsinki’s Vallila district in the 1930s and 40s. It was an Orion pharmaceutical production plant up to the 1960s and the company head office until the early 1980s. The building was still run by the Orion Group into the 2010s. Since then the building’s new owners started renting the former factory premises to cultural practitioners on a temporary basis.
The building filled up quickly, and in 2019 KAAPELI had the opportunity to purchase a building that fitted its profile and strategy and ensure that cultural activities could continue at N10. As part of the transaction, the building’s approximately 250 cultural and artistic tenants transferred to KAAPELI. Unlike in the Cable Factory and Suvilahti, N10 does not rent event spaces on a short-term basis. KAAPELI will fully renovate the building in stages, respecting the tenants’ needs and the building’s industrial history.
In total, KAAPELI manages almost 100,000 square metres at three locations around Helsinki. Our objective is to offer our tenants functional and inspiring spaces.
Over 500 events are held at the Cable Factory and Suvilahti each year. These provide experiences for around 1.5 million visitors who love art and culture.