In June 1914, the people of Helsinki had reason to be proud. A new, grand, two-storey indoor market hall, praised as Europe’s largest and most modern, opened at the Hakaniemi square. Now, over a hundred years later, the venerable marketplace is undergoing the most thorough renovation of its history.
Hakaniemi Hall is one of the most massive renovation projects Stara (the City of Helsinki Construction Services) has ever undertaken. The building is protected, so the exteriors must remain unchanged, but on the inside, practically everything has been torn down. The building is now held together by metal buttresses reaching all the way up to the ceiling.
The project began with ground cleaning and reinforcement, as the land under the hall was found to be heavily contaminated. The old load-bearing wooden piles also proved to have weakened over time. They will be cut off and replaced with new metal piles.
In addition to renovation work, the project includes excavations for an underground connection to the Hakaniemi metro station and to a service yard. The sheet piling work required for the 5–10 metre deep interconnections is carried out by Fingeo Oy.
“In addition to sheet piling, we have driven individual piles in the hall to support the old structures,” says driller Arli Kolamets, Fingeo. Arli operates a DTH drill rig, with wear parts supplied by Robit.
“Robit delivers our drill bits, pilots, DTH hammers, ring bits and adapters, among others. Deliveries are really smooth and the products arrive at the site quickly. Robit’s technical support is also exemplary. I have been given advice on e.g. pile penetration rates and hammer air pressure. The workday often stretches far into the evening and it is great that Robit always picks up the phone. My special thanks to Sami Paavola for his competence and customer service attitude”, Arli says.
The sheet piling will be completed during summer 2019. A lot of work, however, remains to be done inside – and underneath – the walls of Hakaniemi Hall before it finally reopens, completely modernized, for business in 2021.