Haukilahti's Pitkänkallionmäki was part of Helsinki's air defense during World War II. On the hill was a floodlight H7 operated by lots. Today, the area is called Casablanca after an on-site adventure park. The park was built on the visions of art students and no attention was paid to safety. Fortunately, no serious accidents occurred.
The H7 floodlight was placed on the highest ceiling of Pitkänkallionmäki. A floodlight manufactured by Strömberg and German Goetz hearing aids were installed there. With the help of the equipment, it was possible to detect directions and illuminate all enemy planes trying to reach Helsinki.
The battery was occupied by conscripts, reservists, and volunteers with a lot of floodlights. The crew lived in private villas nearby, from where they performed their duties for Finland. The people of Haukilahti took good care of the battery staff. The retailer Söderström organized coffee events, donated supplies and was responsible for serving the Christmas party. Also popular were dances organized by local girls at nearby villas. In October 1939, an additional lot was opened in the Lottakantti?
The Pitkänkallionmäki battery system did not suffer any significant damage during the war. At the beginning of the war, the Russians sometimes dropped “propaganda leaflets” that hovered in Haukilahti, but their effect on the locals was the opposite. The air defense unit of the Fortress of Miessaari, outside Haukilahti, managed to drop one Russian bomber on February 20, 1940.
The Casablanca playground originated at the turn of the 1970s when art students designed an adventure park in Pitkänkallionmäki. The park was a vision of the students ’own wishes and views, so no attention was paid to safety. Obstacles, cable cars and slides were crossed, fences and other essential safety equipment shone in their absence.
?There was no point in this playground: a children's "adventure park" was opened in Espoo in the 1970s, full of life-threatening amusements.Helsingin sanomat newspaper
The children from Haukilahti were completely ecstatic about the park. Children arrived from each house to play in the new adventure park, the stalks continued from early in the morning until late in the evening. Despite the dangers, there was not a single serious accident at the playground.
There are only ruins left of Casablanca's structures. In 2020, before the corona, the city of Espoo was to renovate Casablanca to a new boom. The plans were honed and three proposals were ordered from the Nomaji Landscape Design Office in Helsinki. All of the proposals were somehow related to the history of the area. One of the plans was to be chosen on the basis of a public vote to be implemented. However, in 2020, the city of Espoo faced a tough place due to the economy punished by the pandemic. The project has had to be postponed, and the gravel sounds of Casablanca's neighbors have also had to be listened to. Complaints have already been processed and the project can be legally carried out.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources, the construction project has had to be reduced and at present the basic improvement only concerns the bringing of dangerous ruins to the level required by law. However, the city of Espoo has not buried the project. It expects better times and bigger budgets. The upcoming construction project is likely to be some combination of three options from the Nomaji design office. The overhauls are scheduled to begin in 2023.
Plans for the Casablanca area
In the cultural level option, a diverse place to stay and perform is created on the top of Pitkäkallio. On top of the existing ruins, a wooden layer of wooden levels and stairs is built. The plan relies heavily on existing structures. The plateaus and the associated stairs serve as a stage and auditorium for small-scale concerts and plays, for example. The observation deck offers a magnificent view over the sea and over Haukilahti.
In the Adventure option, the ruins serve as a parkour-inspired environment that inspires movement. Adventure is a combination of the modern spirit of the place; a variety of jagged concrete structures and levels in the middle of nature, and the site’s history of the adventure park Casablancana. The versatile area allows you to climb, balance and exercise.
Sound and light
The Sound and Light option is an environment that refers to the place’s military history. The hearing aid and floodlight were important equipment in the place during World War II. In the Sound and Light proposal, information on the history of the place is presented through an information wall set up at the corner of the wall, where photographs of the hearing and lighting equipment can be presented, but also in a playful way through spotlights and reflective surfaces and whispering horns and parabolic mirrors. This creates an interactive environment where the visitor is themselves part of the experience while learning the history of the place.
Hopefully the city will take the project to work again, and the people of Espoo will get a famous structure on the historic top of Pitkänlallionmäki.
Sources: Juutilainen, S., Melkko, M., Miettinen, H. 2006. Haukilahti - Gäddvik. Haukilahti Society Pictures: SA picture Project descriptions and design pictures: Nomaji Oy
3 reviews for “Haukilahden Pitkänkallionmäki”
It’s interesting to learn more about the exciting playground of youth.
Sakligt, interest, uttömmande