How to make Cable Factory an even better cultural center? An answer to this question began to take shape with the construction of Dance House Helsinki next to Cable Factory, and the first answer is provided by Konttori, Cable Factory's new lobby service. The space will be opened and the new visual look of the Cable Factory will be launched on October 1, 2020.
The mapping and development process began three years ago, when long-term tenants at Cable Factory were invited to interviews and workshops about the direction in which the house should be developed. The company also commissioned a visitor survey through the service design agency Palmu.
Tenants and visitors expressed a clear wish for the property management company Kaapelitalo to take overall responsibility for the visitor experience, and that Cable Factory would be more accessible for visitors.
- We realized that for 25 years, we have focused mainly on renting activities, and we knew almost nothing about the visitors to Cable Factory. In 2017, we could not estimate the annual number of visitors, let alone what visitors do at Cable Factory, CEO of Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo Kai Huotari says.
Today, about one million people visit Cable Factory every year. Typically, visitors come to the cultural center for a particular artist or event, and then leave.
- We realized that it is difficult for visitors to get a grasp of the place and to understand everything that we have to offer, Huotari says. – We listened to our tenants and visitors, and set out to reform our operating methods. We decided to take responsibility of the lobby service, improve logistics and make the building easy-to-reach while ensuring that artists and others can work in peace. At the same time, we wanted to renew Cable Factory's brand and visual identity to meet these goals.
Konttori is Cable Factory’s new pulsating heart
You can enter the new lobby service space through the gateway. Downstairs, there is a café, a shop and a parcel machine. Upstairs, there are working and event spaces as well as a magazine gallery. Konttori is a place for all visitors and tenants at Cable Factory. It facilitates the visit, provides a comfortable oasis and cultural inspiration. The space is open from Monday to Saturday.
The new look of Cable Factory highlights diversity
The design office Bond was assigned a task to design a logo, a brand and a visual look for Cable Factory, which both highlight the history and diversity of the place and is inviting to everybody. The idea was to highlight the wide range of tenants and services offered by Cable Factory, and to encourage the user to get acquainted with various cultural services and opportunities.
- All the different premises – Cable Factory, Suvilahti ja Nilsiänkatu 10 – will have their own visual identity and look. The work has now been started with Cable Factory. The iconic KAAPELI logo will stay as the company logo even in the future, Huotari says.
The design was based on the shapes and colours of a mural Let Me Be Your Mental Dentist created by a French street artist named Thierry Noir in 1994 for Cable Factory.
- Needless to say, this cooperation was a unique opportunity and experience, even internationally. A project where customer-orientation crystallizes anarchy. A project where freedom entertained clarity. A positive collision that gave birth to something completely new and unexpected. Something to be collectively proud of, Bond sums up.
The new look will gradually spread from Konttori to the rest of the building. The Cable Factory website will be renewed later in the autumn.
- We will gradually introduce new visitor services so that we are ready when the new covered lobby in the courtyard is completed at the end of 2021, Huotari says.
Kai Huotari, Managing director, Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo, kai.huotari(at)kaapelitehdas.fi, tel. +358 50 384 1557