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Sponda enhances the lobbies of 20 buildings in the city centre of Helsinki

Sponda Oy
·3-min read

Sponda Ltd Press release 10 November 2020 at 12:30

Sponda enhances the lobbies of 20 buildings in the city centre of Helsinki

In 2019, Sponda, Finland’s leading commercial real estate asset management company, launched a comprehensive transformation of the lobbies of 20 of its premium properties in Helsinki city centre. 16 are now complete.

The objective is to remodel the entrance spaces of Sponda’s historic Helsinki city centre buildings to meet modern standards and user’s requests, while preserving their unique cultural heritage.

A number of the spaces are located in iconic buildings that are open to the public, including City center and the Fennia buildings. The lobby of Arkadia n:o 6, which was upgraded as part of the building’s complete renovation, is one of the most impressive business lobbies in Helsinki.

Tom Martonen, Senior Vice President, Sponda: “As the largest commercial real estate owner in Helsinki city centre, it is our responsibility to develop Helsinki’s prime properties to provide improved functionality and value for our customers while cherishing their architectural and cultural values. It is important that lobby spaces reflect the atmosphere, style and quality of service these unique buildings provide”.

Cultivating cultural history and preserving Helsinki’s heritage

In addition to the aesthetic upgrade, the spaces now feature functional improvements to support wellbeing at work. Accessibility and easy navigation have been among the key considerations in the renovation work. The historic properties now have remote controlled lifts, adjustable service desks, programmable information screens and smart reception services.

The design and execution of the lobby transformations was carried out by two architectural agencies specialising in demanding restoration projects – Trium Architects and Synopsis Architects. According to Ilkka-Antti Hyvärinen, the principal designer for the project at Trium Architects, the importance of lobby spaces has long been underestimated in Finland.

“In the past, lobbies have been seen merely as passageways. The trend is now to make them welcoming both visually and functionally – and not just in historic buildings. Inviting and visually impressive entrances also add to the appeal of the city centre as a whole,” says Hyvärinen.

The CEO of Synopsis, Mikael Haasmaa, emphasises the importance of understanding the history and design idiom of the building when modernising the lobby area. “The principle in restoration is to allow visitors to see clearly where the new elements begin and end.”

Hyvärinen and Haasmaa are both pleased with Sponda’s approach and leadership in the lobby project.
“Sponda has given us the freedom to carry out the renovations purely on the terms of the buildings and their architecture. The building work has involved detailed but ultimately invisible conservation work, which is crucial for preserving the history and value of the properties. Sponda is paying an amazing tribute with this project to Helsinki as a city, its architecture and its people,” Hyvärinen concludes.

All of the properties included in Sponda’s lobby project are located in Helsinki city centre. The most impressive transformations have been carried out at: Arkadiankatu 6, Kaivokatu 6 and 8 B, Keskuskatu 6 E, Mikonkatu 17 A, Vilhonkatu 5, Vuorikatu 14 A and B, Pohjoinen Makasiinikatu 3 and 5, Fabianinkatu 21, Unioninkatu 20–22 and Erottajankatu 5.

Before and after photos of the renewed lobbies >>

Sponda Ltd

Further information:
Anita Riikonen, Marketing and Brand Manager, tel. +358 40 833 3804,

Sponda is Finland’s leading real estate asset management company, specialising in owning, managing, developing and letting commercial properties in the largest cities across the country. With a focus on customer-oriented solutions and high-quality properties, Sponda is actively developing the sector's best practices, sustainably enhancing the cityscape and the environment, and supporting its customers.