The Polytechnic Student Union building was originally called ‘Sampo’, a name borrowed from the Kalevala. The house, completed in 1903, was built at a time when organisations of all sorts, even student unions, were embarking on grand construction projects. Nationalist sentiments were running high when the design competition for the building was held. Contemporaries were delighted by Karl Lindahl’s and Valter Thomé’s design, saying, “Every part of this house is full of ideas and ideals, like a young mind. Its architecture speaks an active, fearless, even daring language.”
The building conceals an impressive series of spaces behind its national-romantic granite façade. Masterful craft items can be admired in the interior, which is accentuated by romantic vaulted ceilings and stone pillars and log cabin walls and monumental wooden columns in the main hall. Today, the building houses a hotel.
Source: Art Nouveau in Helsinki – Architectural guide (Helsinki City Museum)