Wuorio commercial building

Location: Helsinki, Kluuvi Type of assignment: historical survey Orderer: KOY Helsingin Unioninkatu 30 Timing: 2017 Scope: 4480 m2 Architects: Hermann Gesellius Year of completion: 1831, 1909

The historical survey of the Wuorio commercial building was made to assist the property’s owner in expanding the building and modernising its interiors into office spaces. Located on Unioninkatu right next to the Senate square the building was originally constructed in the 1830s. It was modernised in the 1900s according to plans by architect Herman Gesellius.

The renovation work on the building was finished in 1909. The alterations made were so drastic that the building came to be thought of as completely new. In his plan Gesellius was able to use the existing brick walls all new structures were built in reinforced concrete resulting in a hybrid structure. In addition to its modern frame the building was also equipped with cutting-edge technology such as steam operated central heating, flushing toilets and electric lighting.

The most distinctive part of Gesellius’ design is the main facade with its large openings made possible by the reinforced concrete structure. The metal window frames and use of Finnish granite are characteristic of early 20th century Finnish Jugendstil while the large windows and highlighted technical details reflect more international influences. The building is regarded as Herman Gesellius’ most important work as an independent architect.

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