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Sponda Plc: The hidden stories of the legendary buildings in downtown Helsinki open to the public

Sponda Plc                                               
Press Release         
6 September 2017, 14:00

The hidden stories of the legendary buildings in downtown Helsinki open to the public

What was the heart of social life in Helsinki 100 years ago? In what kinds of building did people live when Aleksanterinkatu was among the most attractive residential neighbourhoods of the city? Helsinki has several buildings of historical significance that we know only little about. Sponda has cherished the cultural heritage of many premium properties that are over 100 years old. During the autumn, 13 legendary houses and their stories will be brought to the limelight.

The facades of buildings with architectural significance hide many colourful stories that the owner Sponda wants to share with the public to celebrate the centenary of Finnish independence. People interested in history, architecture and design have the opportunity to get to know four Legends inside the buildings when Sponda will organise during the autumn three free guided tours led by Petteri Kummala, a researcher from the Museum of Finnish Architecture. The tours last for 90 minutes and they will be organised on 8 September, 25 September and 20 October.

“There are not many buildings like the premium properties owned by Sponda, and they can be very unique. That’s why it’s important to cultivate their heritage,” says Kummala.

Maintenance and renovation of properties is cultivating cultural history at its best

Sponda is not only the owner of the property but it has a much wider role: as premium properties are part of the cultural history and heritage of the city, their owner must record and transmit the buildings’ history also to future generations.

“Historical properties can also serve many purposes and their purpose of use can be developed. Almost all of our premium properties are protected in all or in part. That’s why the National Board of Antiquities has participated in the renovation work as an expert,” says Anita Riikonen, Marketing and Brand Manager at Sponda.

High society parties, hitherto unseen settings and exquisite stairways

Sponda’s most famous premium properties are the Fennia, Kaleva and Koitto buildings. Completed in 1898, the Fennia building represents Neo-Baroque-style with Viennese touches. In its day, it was famous especially for its grandiose society events. The Kaleva building, designed by Armas Lindgren, has features of a renaissance palace and it was completed in 1913. It still serves its original purpose as a hotel and bank premises. Temperance association Koitto ordered the construction of the Koitto building in 1907 to enlighten the workers about the dangers of alcohol. The building located in Kamppi represents early Art Nouveau architecture and is now part of the Forum shopping centre.

Sponda Legends will be presented to the public during the autumn also with videos in which actor Tapio Liinoja guides the viewers through the history of these legendary buildings. All 13 premium properties will be presented on the Sponda Legends website with articles and old photographs.

Sponda Plc

Further information: Anita Riikonen, Marketing and Brand Manager, +358 (0)40 833 3804

Material of Sponda Legends for media use: https://media.sponda.fi/bank/spondan_legendat

Sponda Plc is a property investment company specializing in commercial properties in the largest cities in Finland. Sponda’s business concept is to own, lease and develop retail and office properties and shopping centres into environments that promote the business success of its clients. The fair value of Sponda’s investment properties is approximately EUR 3.8 billion and the leasable area is around 1.2 million m².