Erottaja 2, nicknamed as “Erottaja Palace”, is one of the most elegant Neo-Renaissance buildings in Helsinki. The building was designed by architect Theodor Höijer who is famed for designing Ateneum Art Museum and many other notable Neo-Renaissance buildings in the city centre of Helsinki. The construction was completed in 1891.
The main façade with male caryatids and other façade ornaments define the street space of Erottaja. Caryatids are a temple ornament from ancient Greek where female figured sculptures serve architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar on the façade. On the façade of Erottaja 2, the caryatids are, differing from the tradition, male figures. The interiors consist of many original details, such as decorated ceramic stoves. Famous Neo-Renaissance decorator Salomo Wuorio painted the painting on the ceiling in the main staircase.
The insurance company Kaleva financed the construction. Erottaja 2 was initially planned to be used as a residential building. Finnish opera singer Aino Ackté was one of the first tenants of Kaleva at Erottaja Palace. In 1913 Kaleva sold Erottaja 2 to the state. The apartments were used as offices, at first by the National Board of Customs and later by the Ministry of the Interior. The building was sold to real estate investment trust in 2015.
In Autumn 2019 “Erottaja Palace” is the scene of Helsinki Design Week. After HDW the building is going to be renovated up to date office spaces.