Kantasatama, the eldest one of the Kotka ports located right next to the downtown area, is being turned into an urban neighborhood. ALA is designing the new events center to be located in the area on the same lot with the new campus building of the South Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences and a future hotel building, and in the vicinity of the Maritime Museum of Finland. The events center will provide the producers of various conferences, as well as cultural, sports and corporate events with rentable facilities currently lacking in the region. The zinc-clad wooden building will aid in strengthening the functional connection between the city center and the waterfront areas. The large lobby space underneath the sail-like roof structure will become an accessible indoor public space while also acting as the main entrance to the university campus. Additionally, the events center’s restaurant will serve a double purpose: in the evenings it caters mainly for the events and the general public and in the day time it functions as the student cafeteria.
To maximize the hours of active usage, the flexible large multipurpose hall can be divided into five different configurations on two levels and it can house multiple simultaneous events without interference. When the entire space is being used for a single event, the maximum spectator amount is 3,200 standing audience members or a seated audience of up to 2,000 people. Without the upper level spectator space, the hall fits a seated audience of 2,500, and when divided with partition walls, audiences of 1,000 and 700. When not open to the main space, the upper level area can be used for meetings and divided to up to four separate rooms.
ALA has previously worked on the masterplan for the entire Kantasatama area.