Industrial Employers’ Organizations held an open architectural competition in 1949 for a large commercial building and hotel. Viljo Revell and Keijo Petäjä, together with Osmo Sipari and Eero Eerikäinen, won the competition. The Industrial Centre was completed in time for the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952. The building was a final farewell to the romantic trend of the 1940s and a return to modernism, which had been interrupted by the war years.

The H-shaped building originally housed office spaces, a hotel and restaurants, each in their own storeys. The elevators and staircases are situated in the crossbar of the letter H. The six office floors have clearly drawn strip windows while the hotel and restaurant floors in the ninth and tenth floors are set back. This building’s shape is a focal point of the Helsinki harbour area.

The interiors were furnished by various renowned Finnish designers such as Olli Borg, Olavi Hänninen and Antti Nurmesniemi. Nurmesniemi’s laminated beech Sauna Stool, designed in 1952 for the Palace Hotel, is still an icon of Finnish design. The building is going through refurbishment and the hotel has been replaced by a conference centre.

Location

Eteläranta 10, Helsinki
60.1652992, 24.9524462

Images

1950s, Hotel Palace
1950s, Hotel Palace (© Heikki Havas / MFA)
Main staircase, 1950s, Hotel Palace
Main staircase, 1950s, Hotel Palace (© Aarne Pietinen / MFA)
Original furniture, 1950s, Hotel Palace
Original furniture, 1950s, Hotel Palace (© Aarne Pietinen / MFA)
Hotel Palace
Hotel Palace (© Volker von Bonin / Helsinki City Museum)
Seaside façade, Hotel Palace
Seaside façade, Hotel Palace (© Jaana Maijala / Helsinki City Museum)
Unioninkatu street side, Hotel Palace
Unioninkatu street side, Hotel Palace (© Jaana Maijala / Helsinki City Museum)
Competition entry scale model, Hotel Palace
Competition entry scale model, Hotel Palace (© Foto Roos / MFA)
Scale model, Hotel Palace
Scale model, Hotel Palace (© Kolmio / MFA)
1st floor, Hotel Palace
1st floor, Hotel Palace (© Finnish Architectural Review 3–4/1954)
Hotel and restaurant floors, Hotel Palace
Hotel and restaurant floors, Hotel Palace (© Finnish Architectural Review 3–4/1954)
Perspective drawing, Hotel Palace
Perspective drawing, Hotel Palace (© MFA)

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