Two foundations join forces to make the Puistokatu Villa a meeting place dedicated to a sustainable future

The Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation and the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation plan to turn the Puistokatu Villa in Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto Park into a space that will help both foundations in their shared efforts to promote a sustainable future.

The Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation has acquired the villa from the Foundation for the Museum of Finnish Architecture and intends to transform it, by 2022, into a space that seeks to promote understanding of the global environmental crisis and contributes to finding solutions.

“The ecological crisis of our planet involves us all, but it manifests itself differently to different people and the communities they represent. It is essential to bear in mind that we are faced with a mutual problem and must find solutions for it together. We cannot find shared solutions if we do not understand the realities in which others live,” says Minttu Jaakkola, Research Director of the Nessling Foundation.

“We have plenty of meeting places for people who share similar world views, but we lack opportunities to meet and learn from those who see the world from a different perspective. The Puistokatu Villa will provide a venue to search for shared understanding through dialogue,” continues Anna Herlin, Head of Development of the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation.

The Nessling Foundation has worked to promote solution-oriented environmental research in Finland for nearly fifty years, while the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation has focused on finding and supporting environmental solutions, particularly those related to efforts to curb climate change, for the past five years. Both foundations focus on transferring research knowledge into forms that can be implemented in society, and the promotion of various forms of cooperation.

“Cooperation between our foundations and merging their networks enhances our ability to defend the planet’s carrying capacity” say Herlin and Jaakkola.

The preliminary plans include facilities for both foundations and a communal workspace for researchers and others searching for shared solutions. The villa will also provide a space for encounters, discussion and networking. The activities will be open to everyone.

But first, the villa—located in Puistokatu 4—will need a complete refurbishment. The foundations’ goal is to be able to initiate activities in 2022. “During the renovation project, we will continue to work on the design of the spaces and continue dialogue with our interest groups. We will be holding an open house event at the villa before the renovation project begins, and we would like to invite everyone interested in this topic and the villa to join us,” says Anna Herlin, who is also the chair of the property company that owns the villa.

Both foundations will communicate details of the open house event at a later date.

Photo: Mika Ranta

More information:

Minttu Jaakkola, Research Director, Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation (minttu.jaakkola(a)

Anna Herlin, Head of Development, Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation (anna(a)