Case: Kiasma – Renta Scaffolding involved in the renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is part of the National Gallery and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the center of Helsinki. The Kiasma building, opened in 1998, was designed by American architect Steven Holl. The renovation that began in 2020 will completely overhaul Kiasma. The iconic building is scheduled to reopen to the public in spring 2022.

To ensure safe conditions for the renovation of the roof and facade, scaffolding and weather protection had to be installed around the entire building. Renta Scaffolding was chosen to carry out the project. In a turnkey solution, Renta Scaffolding provided the main contractor, Rakennus Oy Antti J Ahola, with a scaffolding plan, structural design, strength and erection calculations, as well as the erection and dismantling.

“We value the expertise of Renta Scaffolding, especially for demanding projects like Kiasma. A careful plan allowed us to take into account an architecturally significant site. The plan enabled mostly self-supporting scaffolding structures. Well-designed and constructed scaffolding ensures safety at work and allows the facade and roof renovation to be carried out from a suitable distance,” says Tommi Nick, Site Manager of the main contractor Rakennus OY Antti J Ahola.

The Kiasma building is unique. It has 3,500 square meters of window surface area. The large, curved facade facing Mannerheimintie and the entrance space divider are made of Reglit glass bricks, commonly found in industrial buildings. Kiasma’s building also has several underground parts. The scaffolding and its structures required precise planning due to these and other unique architectural features and the size of the site.

Seamless cooperation between the design engineer, structural engineer, and scaffolding designer was required to ensure the structural stability, work safety, and functionality of the scaffolding.

Assembling and securing the scaffolding at the north end of the building was one of the most challenging phases of the project. The scaffolding was not attached to the building; instead, freestanding scaffolding was assembled on the ground and stabilized with large counterweights. The curved roof structures were also covered with scaffolding and weather protection, without the need for anchoring that would disturb work on the roof.

“Our task is to ensure the main contractor has the opportunity to succeed. Kiasma is one of the most challenging scaffolding projects we have ever designed and built. Renta’s scaffolding made the renovation of Kiasma – a Finnish landmark – possible, safely, without touching the valuable property’s structures or disturbing the immediate environment,” says Jarno Tuuri, CEO of Renta Telineet Oy.