Busy commercial bees

Helsinki, 8 degrees

The chilly October mornings in beautiful Helsinki might make you think that life slows down here this time of year and people enjoy life in a more prolonged way. On the contrary, it seems everywhere I turn, Helsinkians seem like busy commercial bees: there's shopping centers all around going through big changes. This Friday the Kluuvi shopping center is finally opening its doors. You can read more about this shopping center on the blog of my work place.

Thanks to my work place I got a sneak peek of this shopping center last Tuesday, and these photos show some of the new shopping center's look. I'm especially waiting for the new café Fratello Torrefazione, which will be the second café opened by the owners of the La Torrefazione café, La Torre as I call it, one of my favorite cafés in Helsinki. The new café will have 50 customer places and have more a mood of New York and Tokyo, while the original café has a strongly Italian style. The graffiti wall among the pictures is from this café.

Unique with the Kluuvi shopping center is the fact that it's going to have a new market hall in its basement level which will specialize on local food. Helsinki is continuously getting more known for its food, and I think it's great that there will be a market hall focused on local food products. It will even be possible to try some of the products in the market café located inside the market hall.

Hurrying through the city center today when going to my second home, hehe, the post office and supermarket, I passed the renewed shopping center City-Center, located opposite of the Central Railway Station in the building we Helsinkians call "the Sausage House" (Makkaratalo) since the building is covered with a decorative railing encircling the elevated parking lot occupying the third floor of the building, which is said to resemble a sausage. Originally drafted between 1958 and 1960, this building has always hosted several restaurants but otherwise Helsinkians have usually considered the building to be quite ugly actually.

Source: Hannukainen Ky
 Now, walking through it today, I was amazed! It was transformed completely on the inside and was now actually pretty! Look at these conceptual drawings, that actually resemble a lot the reality I witnessed today!

Source: City-center
I've even heard of plans to open a new nightclub in this shopping center. I think that would be exciting, we definately need some new nightclubs!

Some time ago, the Swedish newspaper in Helsinki called Hufvudstadsbladet also published some pictures of the plans concerning the shopping center Forum. Similarly, even this shopping center will renew its look by creating a more luminous complex. The shopping center also intends to move its restaurants from the basement level to the roof level which I think is an excellent idea. I've always hated the idea of eating on a basement level. With a view, enjoying food in the shopping center would get a completely new feel!

What do you think makes a good shopping center? Which services are vital?

What's your opinion?