The major basic repair of the valuable Keskuskatu 1B property designed by architect Eliel Saarinen is about to be completed. The interiors of the office storeys will be completely renewed in the alteration. The building will meet today’s needs in terms of functionality and building systems.
The Kinopalatsi retail space, or current Kiinteistö Oy Keskuskatu 1B, was completed in June 1921 along Hakasalmenkatu, a street that was still under construction. The street is nowadays named Keskuskatu.
Built on the Gaselli quarter plot in the Kluuvi district, the building is part of architect Eliel Saarinen’s (1873–1950) city centre plan of the 1910s–1920s, in which he sketched Helsinki into a modern European metropolis and which was never realised. Keskuskatu 1B was Saarinen’s last design project in Finland before he moved to the United States.
The name of the building comes from the popular Kino-Palatsi movie theatre located in the inner part of the plot. Ab Kino-Palats Oy developed the movie theatre to the street-side part of the plot, and premises for the head office of the owner of the movie theatre, Suomi-Filmi, were also in the building.
Käsityöläis-Osake-Pankki originally operated in the property, and Pohjoismainen Yhdyspankki (later Suomen Yhdyspankki) moved into the premises in 1948.
A basic repair was carried out in the building under architect Risto Skogström in 1973–1976. The former bank halls are now occupied by the Stockmann department store.
Modernisation completed in autumn 2015
Keskuskatu 1B could not be any more centrally located in the heart of Helsinki. Its neighbours are the Stockmann department store, completed in 1930, and the Akateeminen Kirjakauppa building, named Kirjapalatsi, completed in 1969. Good train, tram and bus connections and the numerous city centre parking facilities make it easy to reach the location. The extensive range of lunch options within walking distance bring variety to the workday of those working in the premises.
Located along a stylish city centre pedestrian street, the building features 2,097 square metres of office space and a total of 1,354 square metres of retail space.
Renovation of the property to give the interior an entirely new look was begun in April 2014. The modernised office space will be completed in August–September 2015.
Space for the quality-conscious customer
With the exception of meeting rooms, the office premises primarily consist of open plan offices. However, the interior design also includes lightweight partition walls that can be installed according to customer needs. Shared employee facilities with showers, etc., will be built on the basement floor of the property.
”The property is suitable for customers looking for modern and well-designed office space in a central location in Helsinki,” says Kai Ervamaa, Account Manager at Sponda.
“The city centre is a prime location, and I could imagine that banking and financial sector companies or law offices, for example, could be interested in relocating to new premises in Keskuskatu 1B,” Ervamaa says.
Reference Trium Architects / Netta Böök: Kino-Palatsin Liiketalo – Historian ja rakennusvaiheiden selvitys
Text: Nina Garlo-Melkas