The term ‘built heritage’ refers to buildings, structures and built environments. As there is in principle no age limit for built heritage sites, younger buildings from the recent past can also be a part of the built heritage. In addition to traditional rural buildings, typical built heritage sites in the Tampere Region also include various industrial environments and associated residential areas as well as built areas developed after the Second World War.
Although the built environment in Tampere, the growth centre of the region, represents a broad range of different periods in Finnish architecture, valuable heritage buildings can also be found in other towns and settlements in the region. One distinctive characteristic of built cultural environment in the region is its location at the juncture of historical transport routes.
Built heritage conservation and research are an integral part of Pirkanmaa Regional Museum’s work in protecting and researching the cultural environment. The work is carried out by building researchers together with archaeologists.
Building research in Pirkanmaa Regional Museum primarily comprises conducting, directing and coordinating inventories and reports. It is the authority to consult if you have any questions concerning issues such as the content, extent or accuracy of reports drawn up for the purposes of land use. Many of the museum’s projects have a bearing on land use planning (such as town planning) or building repairs. Inventories drawn up in connection with land use planning are often called ‘reports on the built cultural environment’. The aim of inventories and reports is to create a sufficiently comprehensive account of the present status and history of the region’s built cultural environment, given the impacts of the plan.
Below are brief presentations of key types of built environment research with links to representative reports. (The reports are all in Finnish.)
Building history report
A building history report is drawn up for the needs of repair planning, especially for sites of special cultural and historical value. The report provides classifications and documentation of the valuable features of the building and its environment.
A sample building history report: Building history report on Hervanta Health Centre (in Finnish only)
Inventory of the built cultural environment for environmental impact assessment (EIA)
Although environmental impacts are assessed in all projects, impacts on the cultural environment form a key aspect in mandatory assessments required by the Environmental Impact Assessment Act. Assessments can only be made with sufficient information about the built cultural environment. Typical situations where such an inventory is made include EIAs conducted in connection with major road building projects. These inventories focus on presenting an account of the cultural environment and the values contained in it.
Inventory of the built environment for the local detailed land use plan
This inventory contains information on individual buildings or larger entities in the built environment. It comprises a history of the site and the area, a description of its current status, and an estimate of the cultural and historical value of the site. The inventory allows for conservation aims to be set for the individual buildings.
Sample report: Inventory of the built cultural environment in the residential district of Nekala (in Finnish only)
Inventory of the built environment for the local master plan
Depending on the extent of the planning area and the aims of the master plan, this type of inventory provides more general information on the built cultural environment. It includes a report on the history of the site, a description of the typical features of its current status, and an account for laying down the principles of cultural-historical valuation of the site. The inventory focuses on individual sites (such as compact building groups), as well as larger entities (blocks, villages or groups of several farmsteads).
Sample report: Inventory of the cultural environment and landscape in the district of Herttuala (in Finnish only)
Inventories of the built cultural environment on the regional level
This type of inventory is made for the purposes of regional land use planning. It is a general account of the current status and backgrounds of the built cultural environment in the region.
Building protection covers the preservation of individual buildings as well as larger built entities. Building protection aims primarily at preserving the valuable features of the built environment while allowing for certain changes. It is the historical value and narrativity of the built environment that must be preserved. Successful building protection depends on finding a natural use for the site, based on the intrinsic characteristics of both the building and the setting.
Building protection at Pirkanmaa Regional Museum consists mostly of administrative regulation. The museum issues opinions on projects, and coordinates the related inventories and reports. Administrative regulation also involves close cooperation with municipalities, the Pirkanmaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and the Council of the Tampere Region. Aside from administrative regulation, the museum also promotes private maintenance of the built cultural environment using ‘soft’ protection measures. Such measures include consulting on building renovations, training, guided tours of the cultural environment, inventories and public dissemination of information.