Heureka, The Finnish Science Center
The roots of the Finnish Science Centre Heureka can be traced back to the University of Helsinki and scientists, who had become acquainted with different science centres located around the world. The initial spark was lit by Adjunct Professors Tapio Markkanen, Hannu I. Miettinen and Heikki Oja. It all began with the Physics 82 exhibition held at the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 20–26 May 1982. During autumn of that same year, the science centre project was launched with the initial support of the Academy of Finland, the Ministry of Education, and various foundations. The project led to the establishment of the Finnish Science Centre Foundation during 1983-1984. The original founding members of the foundation included the University of Helsinki, the Helsinki University of Technology, the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, and the Confederation of Industries.
Heureka’s mission statement
- We share the joy of discovery
- We inspire learning
- We value science
In 1984, the City of Vantaa offered to be the host city and partial financier for the Science Centre, and also designated a property lot located in the southern end of Tikkurila as the future site of the centre. An architectural competition, held in 1985, turned out two first prizes from which the winning design was selected; namely the “Heureka” design submitted by Mikko Heikkinen, Markku Komonen and Lauri Anttila. That's how the Finnish Science Centre Heureka got its apt name!
Before the building was completed, a number of test exhibitions were set up at other sites. The interior plan for the Science Centre was completed in 1986. The foundation for the building was laid in October 1987, and the construction work was completed one year later. The overall area of the building is 8,200 m², of which 2,800 m² is exhibition space. The Finnish Science Centre Heureka opened its doors to the public on 28 April 1989.