Erottajankatu 2 Neo-Renaissance Building
The Grönqvist Building is one of the finest Neo-Renaissance buildings in Helsinki. It is situated in the block next to Esplanade Park. The Grönqvist Building fills the whole block on the side of Esplanade Park. The street level premises were designed for commercial purposes.
The Grönqvist Building was constructed in 1882–1883. It was the largest residential building in the Nordic countries at the time of the completion of the construction. The developer of the building was industrialist Fredrik Wilhelm Grönqvist. Architect Theodor Höijer was the principal designer. He designed at his private office some of the most prominent Neo-Renaissance buildings in Helsinki at the end of the 19th century. Höijer’s main design work was Ateneum, completed in 1887.
The Grönqvist Building, with its decorative street façade, is one of the most distinctive buildings around the Esplanade Park. Sculptor Karl Magnus von Wright implemented the plaster ornaments on the street façade. Decorator F. Uhrström painted the interiors of the building.
The first changes were made in the 1930s when part of the house was turned into office spaces. The whole house has since been changed into office spaces. On the street level, there are premises for shops. The building was completely refurbished for the first time in the 1970s and the second time in 1998. Today the insurance company Ilmarinen owns the house and rents its premises.