Villa Eläintarha

A piece of history in the heart of Helsinki 

Charming Villa Eläintarha is one of the remaining wooden villas at Linnunlaulu and a piece of urban villa culture in Helsinki from the turn of the 20th century.

The villa is located at Tokoinranta, by the Eläintarha bay next to the Helsinki City Theatre. Since 2000, the City of Helsinki has maintained a residence for foreign artists in the villa. On first floor, there is a permanent bourgeois home exhibition that is open to the public and is a fine addition to Helsinki's home museums.

Each year, more than a hundred artists from around the world stay at Villa Eläintarha residence. They come from all fields of art and are able to enjoy the villa's peaceful surroundings in the middle of the city while working.

The building is protected by the National Board of Antiquities and it is owned by the City of Helsinki.


Villa Eläintarha ("Zoo Villa"), the neo-Renaissance wooden villa, was built in 1889 as a home for Oskar Frans Blom and his wife Olga Cecilia Blom (née Wikander) for his life's work for the state railway company . The villa used to be part of a larger villa community on the outskirts of the city, but only part of it remains today. Through the years, the buildings have had to make way for new railway lines.

The old wooden villa was later bought by the City of Helsinki, and it has been carefully restored, retaining the building's original spirit. The operating idea has been to create a window into the atmosphere of a 19th century bourgeois home as closely as possible.

The house was converted back to residential use as an artists’ residence in 2000.

City of Helsinki promotes art, culture and creativity

The City of Helsinki promotes art, culture and creativity and making the Helsinki Region a culturally rich area. Services include cultural events, shows, exhibitions, courses and art classes. The City of Helsinki Cultural Division wants to ensure that culture and art in Helsinki are diverse and accessible to everyone.

In the city centre cultural programmes provide Annantalo Arts Centre, the Savoy Theatre and the international cultural centre Caisa. Kanneltalo in located in West Helsinki, Malmitalo in North Helsinki, and Stoa and Vuotalo in East Helsinki. The Espa Stage in the Esplanadi Park hosts cultural events during the summer. The cultural centres work in close cooperation with Helsinki’s art and culture scene.

The City of Helsinki also grants financial assistance to art and culture organisations, collectives and artists, and provides artists with sophisticated performance venues around the city. Professional artists can also apply for a studio space on Harakka Island. Villa Eläintarha provides accommodation for visiting foreign artists.

In addition to these the Helsinki City Culture and Leisure Sector's Culture Division includes the public library services, Helsinki Art Museum HAM, the City Museum, the City Orchestra and general cultural services. The Culture Division is also responsible for the cultural policy of City of Helsinki.

Artists’ residence

The artists’ residence maintained in the villa offers accommodation to foreign artists and Finnish artists who reside permanently abroad. Read more. link

Bourgeois home exhibition

Dive into bourgeois life dating back to the turn of the 19th and 20th century in our permanent exhibition. Further information here. link

Villa 14 before and now

Find out more on the past of Villa Eläintarha in an article that can be downloaded in electronic format.
Download the article here. link