About

Sokos Department Store in Helsinki city centre opened its doors in 1952, just in time for the Helsinki Olympics. The name “Sokos” is based on The Central Finnish Cooperative Society’s name Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskusliitto – SOK.

Architect Erkki Huttunen was the principal designer of the modernist department store. He was the head architect at the construction department of SOK the years 1939–1941. The planning of Sokos began in 1938, and the construction started the next year. Huttunen designed at SOK some of the most well-known 1930s modernist buildings in Finland, nicknamed as “SOK functionalism”. With the planning of Sokos, he was assisted by architects Eero Jokilehto, Einari Teräsvirta, Mertsi Alopeus, Kai Larkka and Sirkka Tarumaa. The construction was delayed over ten years because of World War II. Sokos was the last large design project of Huttunen; he died in 1956.

The building was designed to fill the whole block. Originally there was an inner courtyard which has been later roofed. The department store was on the first and the second floor of the building. On the other floors, SOK had offices, hotelrooms and a rooftop restaurant. Today the department store is located on five floors. Hotel Vaakuna is on the upper floors of the building. On the top floor of the building is restaurant Loiste, which has the original restaurant interior from the year 1952.

 

 

Location

Mannerheimintie 9, Helsinki
60.1704911, 24.9385059

Images

The façade to Mannerheimintie , Sokos Department Store
The façade to Mannerheimintie , Sokos Department Store (© Hanna Tyvelä / Archinfo Finland)
The aerial view in 1952, Sokos Department Store
The aerial view in 1952, Sokos Department Store (© Volker von Bon / HKM)
Sokos in the 1960s, Sokos Department Store
Sokos in the 1960s, Sokos Department Store (© Kuultokuva / HKM)
The interior of restaurant Loiste, Sokos Department Store
The interior of restaurant Loiste, Sokos Department Store (© Hanna Tyvelä / Archinfo Finland)
The interior on the top floor, Sokos Department Store
The interior on the top floor, Sokos Department Store (© Hanna Tyvelä / Archinfo Finland)
The interior on the top floor, Sokos Department Store
The interior on the top floor, Sokos Department Store (© Hanna Tyvelä / Archinfo Finland)