Get to know City Hall
In autumn 2020, it will be 50 years since City Hall was renovated to its present form according to a plan from the Finnish architect Aarno Ruusuvuori. The new modernist architectural style, completed in 1965-1970, was felt to mirror the city’s modern and democratic values better than the decorous imperial style. After the renovation, the only things remaining from Seurahuone were the façade, the entrance colonnade and the 19th-century Banquet Hall. In 1985–1988, Ruusuvuori supervised the build of a new council chamber and restaurant in the City Hall block.
Even though the façade with its pillars may seem original and unchanged at first, these too have experienced changing art trends throughout the different eras. At first, the façade was Engel’s preferred shade of pale yellow, then, an even lighter shade of yellow, followed by rose, yellowish green, white and light blue, greyish green, and at the start of 1950s, greyish lilac. The current colour scheme is the ninth, and was designed by the artist Anitra Lucander.
City Council meetings are open the public, who can follow the proceedings from a public gallery in the chamber or tune in remotely via the city’s streaming service Helsinki-kanava.
The Registry accepts administrative documents, such as initiatives, complaints, opinion requests and applications. The Registry registers all of the city’s incoming and outgoing documents and decisions in the city’s common administrative register. Letters from residents are sent on from the Registry to the relevant parties.
The Registry gives information about the progress of pending administrative cases and decisions throughout the whole handling process. The Registry also manages the noticeboard for the city’s public notices, which is located in the City Hall lobby.
City Hall’s adaptable restaurant has catered to food lovers for many years. Both royalty and presidents have dined at the restaurant during their visits. A hearty lunch and coffee with other delicacies are always on offer. The flavours are largely Finnish, with an occasional international touch. This venue and its professional catering services are also available to rent.
The City Council assembled in the Banquet Hall from 1932–1965. During events at the Virka gallery, several concerts and other such public events were held in the hall. These days, the Banquet Hall at the Helsinki City Hall remains one of the city’s top venues for social receptions.
During Ruusuvuori’s renovation, the Banquet Hall was held in place with columns, whilst the lobby beneath it was transformed into its present guise. The historic room’s location in the heart of the modern City Hall building creates a strong contrast between the Banquet Hall exterior and interior.