is a science center
A science center or science centre is a science museum that emphasizes a hands-on approach, featuring interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to experiment and explore....
Vantaa is a city and municipality in Finland. Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen make up the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.Vantaa, with its population of , is the fourth most populated city of Finland. The biggest airport in Finland, the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, is located there...
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...
, north of Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...
. Its purpose is to facilitate the access to scientific knowledge and to develop the methods of scientific education. Its exhibits are largely hands-on and many of them are made for children. It also includes a planetarium capable of displaying digital panoramic films.
The planning of the center started in the main building of the University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku in 1640 as The Royal Academy of Turku, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available...
in 1982, and the decision to found the center was made the next year.
In 1984 the Tiedekeskussäätiö
("The Finnish Science Centre Foundation") was registered and Vantaa elected as the location. An architectural
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...
competition for the center was held between April and October 1985 and was won by an entry by Heikkinen - Komonen Architects.
Planning was completed in 1986. The cornerstone was laid in October 1987 and the construction ended a year later. The center opened its doors to the public on 28 April 1989.
The front of the entrance is tiled in Penrose tiling
A Penrose tiling is a non-periodic tiling generated by an aperiodic set of prototiles named after Sir Roger Penrose, who investigated these sets in the 1970s. The aperiodicity of the Penrose prototiles implies that a shifted copy of a Penrose tiling will never match the original...
The surrounding grounds include a science adventure playground and a rock garden, displaying large and small samples of Finnish minerals found in nature, grouped by their appearance in different regions of Finland.
There is also a spring which supports a huge floating perfectly round granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...
monolith which can be made to roll even by the touch of a toddler, also providing an architectural echo of the concrete dome housing the Vattenfall Planetarium.
Facts about Heureka
The center is a member of three associations of science centers:
- ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers
The Association of Science-Technology Centers is an international organization of science centers and science museums. Members are located in more than 40 countries...
- ECSITE (The European Collaborative for Science, Industry and Technology)
- NSCF (Nordisk Science Centerförbundet)