In the centre of Helsinki, the former Finnish Literature Society headquarters became a boutique hotel furnished with Finnish design icons
The St. George Hotel, in Helsinki, is in the proximity of two of Helsinki’s most famous streets, Esplanadi and Mannerheimintie, in front of the Old Church Park and nearby the Design District, the lively neighborhood rich in galleries, boutiques, museums and restaurants.
The project, curated by the Finnish studi Arkval Taite Architects, was carried out in collaboration with the interior designer Carola Rytsölä. The renovation sought to preserve the integrity of the original building built in 1890 by Onni Tarjanne (1864-1946), one of the leading Finnish architects of the time.
To meet the needs of the owner, Kämp Collection Hotels, the architects enlarged the original 7-story building connecting it to the adjacent 5-story building and restored the historical elements, such as the wooden surfaces and the original decorations on the main staircase connecting the two buildings.
Past and present coexist, therefore, in the project of the St. George Hotel. A unique and exclusive place where you can still feel the atmosphere of the literary circles of the twentieth century and where clear references to poetry, literature, art and Finnish culture pay homage to the history of the original building and the city of Helsinki.
The rooms, furnished in a sober way, with neutral colors and pastel hues, are enriched with some contemporary Finnish design icons, by Eero Saarinen and Alvar Aalto for example, and lithographies by the pioneers of abstract art in Finland, including Juhana Blomstedt, Ernst Mether Borgström and Lars-Gunnar Nordström. St. George Hotel accommodates 148 bedrooms and 5 suites, a spa with fitness center, a restaurant, a café with bakery and an original winter garden equipped with restaurant, bar and three rooms for private events and meetings.
The Wintergarden features Pekka Jylhä’s sculpture “Learning to Fly”, which dominates the space, and “Lightning In Tiger Woods”, the original wallpapers designed by Klaus Haapaniemi, cover all the walls. [Text Arianna Callocchia – Photo courtesy of St.George Hotel]
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