Riihimäki Sports Park
Helsinki Worker’s Institute got its own building in the 1920s. The plot for the school house was given from the heart of the working class district Kallio. The four-storey building, designed by Helsinki City architect Gunnar Taucher, was completed in 1927. The building represents Nordic Classicism, typical for the 1920s. The building has a narrow fame and the symmetrical street façade is dominated by the grand main entrance.
The commission for the design of the Helsinki Workers’ Institute extension was awarded to Aulis Blomstedt on the recommendation of the Helsinki city council. It was a challenging infill building project, in which the room programme for the new extension was almost twice the size of the old building. The four-storey extension is subtly adapted to the classicism of the old building, and does not compete with the latter’s main facade but rather almost hides behind it. The height differences on the plot are resolved by leaving an exposed rock face bordering the courtyard to the new entrance. The yard, dominated by the rock, connects via glazed walls to the two-storey foyer and impressive, dramatically rising auditorium. The building displays all the basic elements of modernism: a building wing raised up on pillars, a free floor plan and the resulting free facade composition and long strip windows. The colour scheme reflects the influence of the De Stijl group and in the overall form there is a strive towards a total work of art. Blomstedt took the basis for his design from the 360 cm classical longitudinal module of the old building, from which he derived all the key elements of the extension, such as the external dimensions, the load-bearing structures and the largest spatial units, all dimensioned with a 360 x 360 x 360 cm module. This was further subdivided lengthways into two, crossways into three and vertically into five.
Helsinki Worker’s Institute extension is listed on the DOCOMOMO Finland registered selection of important architectural and environmental modernist sites.
Source: DOCOMOMO Finland