Vallisaari Island, which is located next to Helsinki, offers a unique environment for the Helsinki Biennial. The island was in military use from the 1800s and was only opened to the public for recreational use in 2016. Hundreds of people have lived on Vallisaari Island and its neighbouring Kuninkaansaari Island, and pilots have worked on the island as well as soldiers. The island has always been host to cultural events, such as dances, landscape painting and theatre clubs.
Vallisaari Island is located between the open sea and the urban landscape. Helsinki Biennial’s artworks will be built in a way that respects the island’s nature and buildings. The artworks will be located outside along the cobbled path and inside historical buildings, gunpowder cellars and empty residential buildings.
Even though it has been considerably adapted by humans in the past, the island has a unique and abundant wildlife. Vallisaari is home to thousands of butterflies and is an area well-loved by bats. The island is also home to a delightfully varied flora.