Home to both the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo) is the Finnish capital’s main concert hall. Sitting opposite Parliament House in the prestigious Töölönlahti district, the building and its copper facade may look gargantuan from the outside, but actually, most of its rooms are underground.
Home to the Sibelius Academy as well as Finland’s national orchestras, the center was unveiled in 2011. With a modern and understated design, the center’s unusual interior layout features weaving hallways, as well as a unique main hall, where up to 1,704 visitors are seated in a full circle around the orchestra.
Designed to sit in harmony with the stately buildings that surround it, the Helsinki Music Centre and its design have been well-received. This was not without controversial beginnings, however; to make space for the structure, an area of grassroots art spaces (that had been converted from derelict warehouses) had to be pulled down.
On Mannerheimintie 13A opposite the Finnish Parliament, Central Railway metro station is a 10-minute walk from the Helsinki Music Centre. You can visit the main hall and cafe for free, otherwise a ticket is necessary. It’s a good idea to buy your performance tickets in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly.