How to improve accessibility in historical buildings


Niina Kilpelä


E4. Accessibility in the built environment

Date and Time

2014-06-18, 11:10 - 11:30


MA 6
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Full Text PDF

Design Case

Presentation PDF

Short oral presentation


transcripts 92


The Ainola residence was designed by Lars Sonck for Jean Sibelius, one of the greatest symphony composers of all times. It was completed in 1904.
Ainola was the home of the Sibelius family for more than 60 years. The interiors and furnishings of the building date from various decades. The building is now a museum and the lower floor is open to public during the summer months.

An accessibility audit was carried out in 2008. It included the accessibility of moving, seeing, hearing and understanding both in the buildings and the surrounding areas. The level differences at the main entrance turned out to be the biggest barrier. The accessibility audit report was used as an input data for the design.

After careful studies, a platform lift was mounted at the entrance of the main building in 2010. The café and accessible toilets were located in the service building.

The DVD presentation about Ainola includes the architect’s comments on the design work. The duration of the DVD is about 8 minutes. Subtitles are in English.