In English | Issue 3/2021
Scandic Grand Central Helsinki
The new Scandic Grand Central is one of Finland’s most unique hotels in Finland, after its completion in early 2021. The Helsinki Railway Station, which was designed by Eliel Saarinen and completed in 1909, is one of the most prestigious and protected historical buildings in Finland. Designing an extension for such a landmark was a compelling challenge.
Scandic Grand Central is located in the old administrative buildings of the Helsinki Central Railway station. With its 500 rooms together with meeting and banquet facilities, Scandic Grand Central is among the largest hotels in Finland. The project consisted of the restoration and adaptive reuse of administrative buildings and the contemporary addition that completes the stations north.
Futudesign’s concept stays true to the original architecture of the railway station and blurs the boundaries of historic and contemporary architecture to create a stylistic symbiosis. Many design details are inspired by Eliel Saarinen’s original plans and applied to modern features such as street level and top floor arch windows. The wall materials imitate the Railway Station’s facade with a mix of concrete and red granite to add to the building’s grand appearance.
One important architectural decision was to keep the height of the floors in the new building at 4.5 metres, the same as in the old administrative building. In addition to accessibility, the solution offers a higher room height than a standard hotel, giving the rooms a wonderful feeling of spaciousness. Space is further emphasised with floor to ceiling windows, which ensure an unparalleled view of the beautiful courtyard, and of Kaisaniemi park, which surrounds the hotel.
Keeping the high floors did not mean having to compromise on the number of rooms, as more rooms could be added on the quiet courtyard side by curving the facade.
The verdant garden courtyard with its restaurant and covered terrace will surely become Helsinki’s newest and most elegant hot spot.