The historical survey of this central Helsinki property, colloquially known as the Ohrana building, was done to help the sale of the building. The main focus of the survey was on mapping the different construction phases and on providing information crucial for conserving the building and for making future alterations to the city plan. This striking neo-renaissance structure was completed in 1889 across the street from St John’s Church and it was designed by architect Axel Högberg.
The building was originally designed as a block of flats and upon completion it was one of the largest in the city. It received the name Ohrana Building upon being acquired by the state of Russia in 1904. In 1918 the building became property of the Finnish State as a result of the war. At this point the building was transformed for office use by adding corridors amongst other changes, it became home to the Finnish Defence Ministry. In the 1930’s the building was used by the defence council and on the fourth floor was situated the office marshal Mannerheim who served as the council’s president at the time. From 1939 to 2012 the building was being used by the Finnish border guard, after which it had remained empty. The building had been listed as a protected building under a regulation concerning state-owned properties. Along with a new owner it became necessary to redefine the property’s need for preservation.
You can read the study in Finnish on the website of Senaatti-kiinteistöt.