Hanko Bird Observatory Halias

Photo Credit Icon Pekka Hänninen

Hanko Bird Observatory Halias

  • Icon for wildlife Wildlife
  • Icon for facilities Facilities

Hanko peninsula is the southernmost tip of mainland Finland and a perfect spot to observe migrating birds. The bird observatory station, set up in an old and traditional fisherman’s cottage, needed an auxiliary building to accommodate the needs of researchers staying overnight and bird-ringing. 

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Architecture and landscape illustration.

How to harmonise the new with nature and the old?

New facilities were needed for the Hanko bird research station, originally founded in 1979 in an old fisherman’s cottage. The new building, made entirely of recycled materials, offers ringing facilities and a sauna for bird researchers.

A humble construction to respect the surrounding nature

The ornithological organisation has a bird watching station on Tulliniemi peninsula, the southernmost tip of Finnish mainland. The station needed a service building for bird-ringing and washing facilities for bird watchers who stay overnight. As the budget was very limited, the bird laboratory and sauna building was designed using mostly recycled materials collected through a vast circle of volunteers who also built the station. The most expensive part was the steel chimney. The station sits delicately in the landscape, giving way to the rock formations by curving slightly in the middle. The wooden facades were left untreated to turn grey with age.

Key facts

  • Location

    Southern tip of the Hanko Peninsula, Region of Uusimaa in Southern Finland

  • GPS points

    N59°48'40.3" E22°53'40.5"

  • Protection Framework

    Uddskatan nature reserve

  • Estimated number of visitors a year

    20,000 yearly visitors in the nature trails of the area, 100 overnight stays at the station

  • Project Owner

    Tringa ry, Helsinki region ornithological organisation

  • Designer

    Pekka Hänninen, architect

  • Year of construction


  • Project budget

    4000 euros

  • Materials

    recycled wood, steel

  • Landscape type

    Peninsula, coastline, archipelago