From textile industry to technology companies

Turku Science Park got started with the construction of DataCity in 1988. The idea was to gather the local high technology companies and academic research under the same roof. The project started with building developer Juhani Lunden’s idea of an “EDP building” which was named DataCity.

The ElectroCity building has a past in textile industry. August Laurén founded tricot industry company Kudos Oy Silo in 1928. Silo established its position in the 1930s as the second biggest tricot producer in Finland. The company built its first own factory in the industrial district between the Kupittaa park and the Kupittaa railway station on Lemminkäisenkatu street in 1942. The old Silo industrial building was renovated and expanded to be used as premises for high-tech companies in 1989.

Built in the early 1990s as an extension of the three-storey spinning mill, BioCity was the most modern biotechnology centre in Finland when it was completed. The leading idea of the new project was to set up a biotechnology centre in Turku, because the bio and pharmaceutical industries were expected to grow vigorously. That called for more laboratory and production space. In addition to securing the growth of biotechnology, the basic idea was to utilise the expertise in universities and put it into practice. BioCity houses premises of biotechnology companies as well as Conference and Congress Centre Mauno, named after a statesman from Turku, President Mauno Koivisto. The conference centre was inaugurated at the end of 1993 and renovated in 2013.

PharmaCity was completed in 2002 on the corner of Lemminkäisenkatu and Itäinen Pitkäkatu streets, next to BioCity and ElectroCity. The growth of bio and pharmaceutical industries generated an acute need for R&D premises. The response was to build PharmaCity in which the laboratory and office premises were designed on the terms of the future users. Two low buildings that had been used as HK Ruokatalo’s production plant and warehouse were demolished. Before HK, there was LSO’s slaughterhouse whose history dates back to 1913.

The history of the Intelligate office buildings dates back to 1992 when an architectural competition was arranged for the planning of the whole Kupittaa district. The winning proposal included the Kupittaa railway station, the business complex and an office building. The first of them to be completed was the station building in 1995. The Intelligate concept comprises three interlinked office and business buildings, the first of which was completed in 2006 and the second one in 2013.

In 2006, ICT-City was built in place of the former Anni Helena grain silo. The building houses the information technology teaching of the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University and the Turku University of Applied Sciences.

Click below to watch a video on the history and future plans of Turku Science Park (in Finnish).

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