The Cable Factory, resilient architecture in Helsinki

The Cable Factory, resilient architecture in Helsinki

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The Cable Factory is a cultural centre that benefited from the deindustrialization process in Helsinki. In 1989, the Cable Factory was transformed from an obsolete industrial space to a cultural centre due to a social and cultural movement called Pro Kaapeli, which proposed an alternative plan to save the Cable Factory from its division into three separate parts planned by the Helsinki City Council. During more than 30 years, the Cable Factory has hosted a proactive community committed to the building transformation, adaptation and persistence. These resilient properties are based on spatial indeterminacy through low-cost rents of its raw spaces. Raw space is a flexible and empty space that allows adaptation and transformation for the change of uses made by the inhabitants, the raw spaces of the Cable Factory must become empty for the future inhabitants once a function or activity is finished. The transformation of the Cable Factory as a cultural centre is a process over time that depends on the responsible use of human, material and economic resources, as well as the interrelation of three stakeholders: its inhabitants, architects and the local government of Helsinki. The spatial indeterminacy of the Cable Factory confronts uncertainty and unpredictability on a global and local level and generates social, cultural and economic capital for its community and the city of Helsinki. The Cable Factory is a resilient architecture for creating a dynamic architectural system—an interdependent system in its social, spatial and temporal dimensions— that can evolve its spaces and change uses. Its dynamic and proactive community has created a self-organised and self-managed bottom-up approach through spatial indeterminacy. The diversity, independence and self-conditionality of this community make the Cable Factory a sense of place and it is an example of sustainable development for the planning of cities and societies.

Corresponding Author

Fèlix Breton

University of Girona

Author #1:

Fèlix Breton

University of Girona

Author #2:

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Preferred Track

3. Terrain vague redevelopments

Second Preferred Track

6. Urban policies

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