Merikasarmi Naval Barracks
The Presidential Palace in Helsinki’s Empire centre was designed by Pehr Granstedt and built in 1820 to serve as a merchant residence. In the mid-19th century the Russian Tsar assigned architect Carl Ludwig Engel to rebuild the residence as his Imperial Palace in Helsinki. It became the Finnish presidential residence in 1921.
A puzzle of spaces designed by various architects for varied purposes, the renovated palace is a showpiece in Finnish restoration expertise. The architects, LPR Architects, successfully spotlighted the 19th century architecture whilst future-proofing it with technical upgrades, including reinforcement of the foundations. The main banquet rooms have been restored as closely as possible to their 19th century appearance, while the offices were boldly modernized. New HVAC technology is elegantly concealed in the structures. Lighting, acoustics and accessibility were improved through subtle modifications. Through bold experimentation, the team refined their approach based on trial and error.
Source: Finnish Architecture Biennial Review 2016 catalogue