In Greek mythology, Aeolus was the keeper of the winds. On windy Katajanokka, the choice of name is understandable. The construction of the Aeolus building was completed in 1903. The principal architect of the building was Selim A. Lindqvist. The architecture of the house is based on international influences rather than local ideas: Lindqvist’s romanticism was not national but European.

In Aeolus one first notices the variety of the façades and the dimensions of the house. From its ground floor made of stone rise green, variously treated, plastered surfaces, windows of varying sizes and shapes, decorative motifs alluding to wind, as well as all kinds of projections. On the upper floors, areas of red brick are left exposed.

Lindqvist has used these elements to avoid monotony, composing the large volume of smaller parts that do not necessarily reflect the interior division into apartments. The main façade of Aeolus, which overlooks Tove Jansson Park, culminates in a bay window turret with a pointed spire and stepped gable, evoking 19th century south-German castle romanticism.

Completed the same time as Aeolus, Panu at Kruunuvuorenkatu 3, designed by K. V. Polon and Georg Wasastjerna, boasts cheerful soapstone decorations on the ground floor, and the small owls under the bay windows in particular turn heads. On the other side of the street Luotsikatu is located the Tallberg House, designed by architects Gesellius-Lindgren-Saarinen. Together the Aeolus House and Tallberg House form a gateway to the art nouveau districts of Katajanokka.

Source: Art Nouveau in Helsinki – Architectural guide (Helsinki City Museum)

Location

Luotsikatu 2, Helsinki
60.1677976, 24.9628416

Images

The street façace, Aeolus House
The street façace, Aeolus House (© Matti Similä / HKM)
Corner tower, Aeolus House
Corner tower, Aeolus House (© Matti Similä / HKM)
Detail of the street façade, Aeolus House
Detail of the street façade, Aeolus House (© Matti Similä / HKM)
The building photographed right after the completion in 1903, Aeolus House
The building photographed right after the completion in 1903, Aeolus House (© A. Nikolajeff / HKM)
The building photographed from Kanavakatu in 1905, Aeolus House
The building photographed from Kanavakatu in 1905, Aeolus House (© HKM)
The building photographed in 1929, Aeolus House
The building photographed in 1929, Aeolus House (© Eric Sundström / HKM)
Tallberg House on the left and Aeolus Building on the right side of the Luotsikatu street, photographed in 1950, Aeolus House
Tallberg House on the left and Aeolus Building on the right side of the Luotsikatu street, photographed in 1950, Aeolus House (© Eino Heinonen / HKM)