Renovation brought light and a flurry of activity to a shopping centre – structural engineering of Kaaren kulma

Finland’s ninth largest shopping mall, Kauppakeskus Kaari, was completed at Kannelmäki in Helsinki in 2013. Some of the premises were renovated in 2017, and in 2019 it was time to renovate the food court. Raksystems Heiskanen Oy handled the structural engineering for the renovation.

The new food court that is full of light was named Kaaren kulma, and it brought eleven new restaurants and cafés to the shopping centre. All of the restaurants and cafés are located along a curved wall on the first floor of the shopping centre.

Structural engineering

The food court renovation started in 2018, and the new food court was opened on 17 September 2019. Premises on two floors, totalling 2,000 square metres, were renovated.

The renovation schedule was tight, and the renovation had to be completed while the rest of the shopping centre was open. Two of Raksystems’ structural engineers were involved in the renovation project for a period of approximately six months from December 2018 to August 2019.

The plan was to make the food court area spacious, which is why some partition walls and a loft area were removed. To improve functionality, new exits, a playground area and new restrooms were built. The restaurants were placed along a curved wall: there is a separate counter for each restaurant. Restaurants that required a large number of penetrations for sewers, ventilation ducts and other restaurant systems were the most demanding from the viewpoint of the structural engineers.

“Kitchens are always more demanding for a structural engineer, because there are more penetrations than normal. Planning the penetrations of one kitchen is challenging enough, but there are eleven kitchens at this site. The planning process was challenging, but I’d say that the final result is excellent. It has been great to see that the major renovation did not go to waste: customers have truly discovered the new food court.”

Kari Toitturi, structural engineer

The shopping centre’s manager has also been satisfied with the work done by Raksystems.

“You did a great job.”

Katja Hatakka, shopping centre manager

Site information

Scope: 2000 m²
Implementation: 2018-2019
Customer: Kannelmäen Kauppakeskus Oy

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