The fascinating and developing Yrjönkatu area attracts companies with its Central European atmosphere
The Yrjönkatu promenade is considered one of the most exciting streets in Helsinki and a model of successful city planning. Thanks to its excellent services and transport connections, the area offers an ideal setting for modern hybrid work solutions.
Running parallel to Mannerheimintie, Helsinki’s main street, Yrjönkatu starts from Korkeavuorenkatu in the southeast and connects to Simonkatu in the northwest.
Over a stretch of less than a kilometre, the street offers a wide range of brick-and-mortar shops, interesting cultural experiences, and charming hotels and restaurants. Additional hustle and bustle is introduced to the area by the numerous valuable residential and office buildings located along the street.
“Yrjönkatu is an interesting cross-section of a central district at its best. All its functions complement one another and the scale is also successful”, explains architect Janne Prokkola, the head of the City of Helsinki’s southern city planning unit.
An elegant and continuously developing model street
According to Prokkola, Yrjönkatu’s main draw is its ideal location – situated in the city’s expanding central area, it is linked to Mannerheimintie and public transport terminals via the Forum and Kamppi shopping centres.
The most exciting section of the street can be found in the vicinity of Hotel Torni and the Forum shopping centre.
“It is fair to say that a former backstreet in the shadow of Mannerheimintie has grown into one of the most bustling and elegant streets in central Helsinki, which also expands the centre towards Hietalahti and the rapidly developing Jätkäsaari.”
Prokkola explains that Yrjönkatu is an example of city planning that serves as a model for the centre’s planning operations. The goal of the development activities is to ensure the area’s accessibility by all modes of transport.
An environment that promotes hybrid work
Even though Yrjönkatu also houses residential properties, the emphasis is on office and business premises, according to Prokkola.
“Rental premises in the area are sought after partly because Helsinki’s transport system serves the centre most efficiently and it is sensible to direct the largest crowds there.”
Prokkola explains that another reason is the increasing popularity of hybrid work. With people wanting to perform more of their work outside the four walls of their office, premises located within easy reach of various public spaces, services, and transport connections will be highly valued.
Prokkola believes that hybrid work, which has gained a stronger foothold during the coronavirus pandemic, will decrease the number of workstations at the level of individual companies, while increasing the number of people who use them.
“The past year has shown us that people feel a need for meeting each other in the workplace where interaction is at its most authentic and productive. This trend may mean that as offices become more effectively used, an increasing number of people will use the services in the city centre and the central area’s significance as a retail hub is emphasised.”
The most interesting section of the street
The city’s planning architect says that the street’s most fascinating section can be found between Kalevankatu and Simonkatu where the one-way street curves and becomes almost a pedestrian street.
“This area is very unusual in Helsinki’s street plan and it links to the rest of the street network and the Forum shopping centre in a way that makes it interesting. The wide cobbled pavement gives the area a continental atmosphere, while enabling efficient service traffic,” explains Prokkola.
This part of the street offers companies a unique environment – charming lunch places, inspiring meeting premises, and cultural facilities for customer meetings and after-work events are right on your doorstop, along with two shopping centres.
A continuously renewing milieu
Prokkola believes that one reason why Yrjönkatu remains so vibrant is that the owners of the area’s properties are actively upgrading the valuable buildings to meet the needs of today’s companies and consumers.
Yrjönkatu’s draw will be further increased by the renovation of Hotel Torni and the further development of Forum. As a result of this work, which will start in a couple of years’ time, Kukontori, the shopping centre’s courtyard, will be transformed into a bustling area with specialist shops and restaurants that offer services to Yrjönkatu’s workers, residents and tourists alike.
A hybrid office or headquarters on Yrjönkatu?
Located in the most interesting part of Yrjönkatu, Sponda’s office premises offer excellent opportunities for designing modern, up-to-date workspaces. Thanks to the area’s outstanding services and transport connections, work locations can extend beyond the office walls.
- Situated a stone’s throw from the services of Forum and Kukontori, Yrjönkatu 29 is a property of numerous possibilities, where tenants can design their own facilities within the newly renovated open space. The property was created in the spirit of Amos Andersson, a patron of the arts who owned several buildings in the surroundings of Forum, an area which is still steeped in history and culture.
- Situated in the street’s most visible location on the corner of the Narinkkatori square, the Koitto building is undergoing extensive refurbishment. This historical building, which will be equipped with the latest technology, offers companies the opportunity to gain premises that combine splendid architecture with modern work environment solutions. Located within easy reach in the centre of the Kamppi district, this building can be used as an attractive hybrid office or a head office that strengthens the company brand.
- The façade of Yrjönkatu 23, a beautiful Jugendstil building, was renovated in summer 2020. With its versatile spaces, this property offers excellent transport connections, a Central European atmosphere, and an operating environment that exudes elegance and quality.