The former offices of Helsinki Central Station are now home to the exclusive Scandic Grand Central Helsinki hotel
Designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1909, the building that used to house the administrative offices of Helsinki Central Station is a large Art Nouveau complex in the center of Finland’s capital city. Therefore, the renovation and adaptive reuse project, by several architectural firms, had to respect historical preservation constraints. Today this complex houses a new hotel of the Scandic chain: Scandic Grand Central Helsinki.
The extension of the original structure is a project by Futudesign, its restoration and recovery are by Soini & Horto Architects. The interior design, the concept design and the lighting design project are by Puroplan.
As it is a listed historic building, the designers have preserved the integrity of the existing structure, keeping the exterior façade and interior architectural elements unaltered, while establishing an interesting dialogue between history and contemporaneity.
“By interpreting Eliel Saarinen’s architecture boldly from a totally new perspective, the idea was to create contemporary architecture that makes both the old and the new elements interesting,” explains architect Aleksi Niemeläinen, Futudesign.
Interior architecture and decor
Scandic Grand Central’s interiors are characterized by the presence of original architectural elements. For example, the main entrance hall, staircase with wooden balustrades, corridors, lamps and Art Nouveau decorations belong to the first era.
The very spacious and bright rooms express an elegant and refined contemporary design that dialogues with the original architectural elements. Design and architecture enthusiasts can thus stay in the heart of Helsinki, in an environment brimming with history of contemporary design and architecture.
Moreover, each room offers impressive panoramic views of some of the city’s main attractions, such as the National Theatre, the Ateneum Art Museum, Kaisaniemi Park and the area surrounding the station.
Scandic Grand Central Helsinki has 491 rooms and a lobby with a lounge area, as well as spacious conference rooms. The hotel also houses the cozy Brasserie Grand restaurant and Bar G as well as the Grand Ballroom event hall, which can accommodate up to 500 people. [Txt: Arianna Callocchia, Photo: Iikka Airas, Marc Goodwin, courtesy Scandic Grand Central Helsinki]