Renovation of the garden and main building at Kultaranta

Photo: Matti Porre/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

Kultaranta, the summer residence of the President of the Republic of Finland, is currently undergoing an extensive renovation. The residence’s main building, Granite Castle, along with the garden and park, will be renovated by 2025. In the first phase of the renovation, between 2017 and 2020, the area’s access roads, gate and parking area were improved, a helicopter landing area was built and utility services were renewed. The main phase of the renovation, which will focus on the garden and Granite Castle, will be carried out in 2022–2024. This phase will also include renovations to the villas and other structures in the park, along with the construction of new technical buildings, such as a pumping station. The renovation of the property’s islet sauna was completed in May 2023.

The garden and main building at Kultaranta date back to the 1910s and 1920s and are in need of refurbishment. The garden was last renewed in the 1960s, and the main building last underwent more extensive renovations at around the same time. The utility services at Kultaranta are at the end of their life cycle, and the plants in the park need to be renewed. Certain structures in the main building are also in need of repair, as a condition survey has revealed moisture accumulating in them.

Objectives of the renovation

The goal of the renovation is to identify, preserve and, where possible, restore the cultural and historical values of Kultaranta Park. The project will restore the park’s structures to their early 20th century appearance, while also preserving the culturally and historically significant elements from the 1960s. In addition, the green spaces and utility services will be renewed and renovated. The renovation will take into account the requirements set by modern-day use, energy efficiency and maintenance.

The project is guided by conservation values: both the park and the buildings and structures in the area are protected either through the local detailed plan or by decree. Kultaranta is also a protected built cultural environment.

Project schedule

In 2017–21, the necessary renovation work was carried out outside the summer season. As such, the residence could remain in normal use in summer 2022. The main phase of the project started as planned on 1 September 2022. In the summers of 2023 and 2024, Kultaranta’s main building and park will be out of service.

Who is carrying out the work?

The project contractors were put out to tender through a public tendering process. As a minimum requirement or selection criterion, all selected contractors were required to provide references where the target of the work was a protected building or park.

  • Sitowise Oy was selected for the landscape architecture design
  • A consortium made up of Trium Architects Ltd, Arkkitehtitoimisto Hanna Lyytinen Oy and Käpy and Simo Paavilainen Architects Ltd was selected for the architectural design of the buildings
  • Both of the above require engineering work: Ramboll Oy was selected for the condition surveys, Granlund Oy for HVAC engineering, Rejlers Oy for electrical engineering and Ideastructura Oy for structural engineering

The main contractor for the project is Rakennustoimisto Laamo Oy, whose main subcontractors are:

  • Terrawise Oy, responsible for earthworks and green spaces
  • Calto Oy, responsible for HVAC, electrical works, automation and sprinklers

How is the project progressing?

The project is progressing as planned. The renovation of the islet sauna is now complete, as is the pumping station. Interior demolition work has been carried out on the other buildings, nearly all of the buildings have been weatherproofed, and the floor castings and façade repairs are currently underway. The most significant work phases currently in progress are the restoration of the natural stone façade of the main building, Granite Castle, the renovation of the greenhouses, and the earthworks and landscaping throughout the park area. Work on the main building’s interior spaces is underway, along with the renovation of the smaller villas and the related HVAC work.

How much will the renovation cost?

The cost estimates for the main phase of the renovation have been revised as the planning and construction progress. The current estimate is around EUR 52 million.

Kultaranta’s 54-hectare grounds are home to numerous buildings, structures and greenhouses and a large, carefully tended park. Its main building is Granite Castle, which is surrounded by parkland. Kultaranta has been in use by the President of the Republic of Finland since 1921.

This article will be updated as the project progresses. It was last updated on 23 August 2023.