A €70m ($79.53m, £62.92m) plan to build a “Kids’ World” cultural centre near Helsinki, Finland, has been announced by Finnish organisation Lastenmaailma ry.
Expected to open in 2025, the attraction is targeting 600,000 visitors per year and will draw on Nordic children’s culture.
Surrounded by world-class architecture and Finnish nature, Kid's World will create a fairytale-like atmosphere where popular children’s stories and characters come to life.
The Moomins, Tatu and Patu, Ricky Rapper and traditional Finnish fairy tale characters are all included in the plans, with children able to engage in the stories through reading, playing and being creative with their hands.
A city planning reservation covering an area of four hectares has been made, which is valid for two years. According to the Lastenmaailma, this two years will be used to finalise the Kids’ World concept, the precise finance plan and construction details. It's estimated that 10,000sq m (107,000sq ft) of land will be needed for the centre, and construction could cost between €50m (US$56.8m, £44.9m) and €70m (US$79.5m, £62.9m).
Lastenmaailma ry was founded in summer 2018 to promote children’s culture and to build a place for this to flourish. The Karhusaari Kids’ World centre will be built at Karhusaari, an island that is part of the growing city of Espoo to the west of the Finnish capital.
Inspiration for the project came from a visit by project leader Taneli Heikka to Swedish children’s museum Junibacken. Collaborating on the project are the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers, which has 28 member centres, and the Finnish design agency N2 Helsinki Oy, which is responsible for the concept and public relations and communications.
Jussi Nurmio, chair of N2 Helsinki Oy’s board said: "Our goal is to build one of the most interesting cultural sites in the world. We want the architecture, content concept and services of the building to represent new thinking and the best know-how in the field."
Once the preparation period has been completed, it is planned to create the Kids’ World Foundation to own the centre and be responsible for operations.