A new type of visitor centre, Haltia strives to bring all of Finland’s nature under one roof and closer to the visitor through the building’s facilities and its exhibitions. With a visit to Haltia you can experience nature from all over Finland, in the Helsinki region. Visitors to the Haltia – The Finnsh Nature Centre are blessed with spectacular views of Nuuksio National Park and Lake Nuuksio Pitkäjärvi, as well as access to the excellent hiking trails that abound.
The exhibitions in Haltia take visitors on a trip through Finland to experience the country’s nature at its most spectacular, from all the distinct regions, and the 40 national parks within its borders. There is also an introduction to the numerous nature experiences available in the Helsinki region, some of which will be well known while others much less so.
The Snowy Canyon leads you to the main exhibition hall, where you can examine the Finnish winter and how animals and plants survive it. In the main exhibition, photography and videos by Finland’s finest nature photographers take visitors through Finnish landscapes as well as underwater in all seasons. There are over 80 Finnish nature destinations that can be explored through touchscreens, from the Finnish Archipelago to the fells of Lapland. The exhibition includes a large wooden Duck Egg, which serves as the setting for the Game Theory video installation by artist Osmo Rauhala. At Haltia, you will also find the Nature Mothers Call sound installation room, Bear’s Den (Karhunpesä) and an Open wilderness hut. The exhibition follows the annual cycle of nature, utilising not only the panorama landscape but also video presentations, dioramas, interactive features, works of art and scale models, among other features. The experience is completed with a world of sounds and light, allowing visitors to live and experience real Finnish nature!
Designed by the architect Rainer Mahlamäki, and inspired by the tales of the Kalevala, the building design enables man and nature to come together peacefully and harmoniously. The Haltia building resembles a duck hatching its eggs. The tower is like a bird’s neck, with the head turned to look towards Lake Nuuksio Pitkäjärvi. The solar panels on the roof resemble a bird’s feathers. Finally, the duck’s egg is found at Haltia’s main exhibition.
The Haltia Nature Centre is the first public building in Finland to be constructed entirely of cross-laminated timber. Respect for the environment is evident throughout Haltia’s facilities and the activities on offer; among other features, the building is heated and cooled with energy derived from the sun and the earth. In 2015, at the annual European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) ceremony, Haltia Nature Centre received a special commendation for sustainability.
Restaurant Haltia offers a delicious buffet lunch of local specialties every day, served against the backdrop of a beautiful Finnish lake.
Haltia is located by beautiful Lake Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi, 35 kilometers from downtown Helsinki, connected with public transportation.