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 The building is going through refurbishment and the hotel has been replaced by a conference centre.