Users and residents: Töölö Sports Hall must be modernised respecting its spirit 

Töölö Sports Hall will be renovated in the middle of the 2020s. In November 2019, its users and residents of the area were asked to provide information about their hopes and wishes regarding the Sports Hall. The information collected will be utilised in the renovation of the Sports Hall for the planning of the facilities and operating concept during the next few years.

The online survey was open from 4 to 24 November 2019, and a total of 766 users or residents responded.In addition to the survey, an open joint development event was organised. 43 people participated in the event, most of whom belong to clubs currently using the Sports Hall.The survey asked the respondents to describe their current use of the facilities and to voice any development proposals and wishes related to the facilities and the operating concept.

The responses clearly show that the renovation will meet a current need, as the respondents expressed a desire for a cleaner, cosier, and more modern overall look, whilst still respecting the history and atmosphere of the building.

The responses showed three main areas of emphasis for the future use of the Sports Hall: some felt that it must be a centre of competitive sports and sports competitions and meet the needs of certain sports in particular. Others saw the site as it is: a place for clubs to practise, while a third group hoped the Sports Hall would be developed into a modern sports centre for free-form exercise, open to all of the city’s residents, and extensively considering the needs of various age groups and accessibility.

The most significant themes for the practicality of the facilities and the technical solutions proved to be the acoustics environment in both halls, heating, and the floor materials.Many respondents considered the possibilities for dividing the space of the entire building, and many hoped the facilities would be increasingly adaptable for the needs of different sports. As expected, the shower, dressing room, and storage facilities were considered most in need of development and repairs. It was also hoped that the number of water points in the hall facilities would be increased significantly. It was expected that the communications of the Sports Hall would be improved, and a functional reservation system developed. The survey also yielded a wide range of wishes for the renovation from the perspectives of various sports, particularly from ball game players, fencers, and gym users.The conditions and requirements for gymnastics, cheerleading, free-form exercise, running, dancing, wrestling, and boxing were also mentioned. Skateboarding was mentioned the most among new sports.The objective of the renovation of the Sports Hall is to improve the conditions for current sports, and to make more space available for sports within the hall.

In November 2019, a joint development event was also organised for the users of the Sports Hall and everyone interested in the development.The participants toured the hall and wrote down wishes and needs for development.

‘The active participation of the residents in the survey showed how important the Sports Hall is for many, and also brought up wishes for expanding the user base even further. We are planning to ensure that the current sports will continue to find facilities at the Sports Hall in the future, while making it easier for new people to find their place at the Sports Hall,’ says Sports Director Tarja Loikkanen.

Users have been consulted even before November 2019. These materials will be utilised in the planning, as well as customer satisfaction surveys, user statistics, and other available materials from previous years.

The planning of the Sports Hall will take place in phases, starting with more general outlines and working towards further details.

The planning will take place in cooperation with residents and users. As the project proceeds, the residents and users will be invited to comment on the plans and develop them further together.Opportunities to participate will be announced on the website and the City of Helsinki website.