Architect
Selim A. Lindqvist Elia Heikel
Completion
1913
Category
Commercial buildings
Tags
brick commercial office

The Nikolayeff car company building (later the Hankkija building) was the first important work by Jarl Eklund. The façades, of violet-brown Helsingborg brick, underline the rationalist approach. The Nikolayeff commercial building was, with the buildings designed by Selim A. Lindqvist and Elia Heikel, the earliest example of orthodox commercial architecture in Finland. The mansard-roofed car palace was a model for business building for decades to come. Its influence is visible, for example, in the entries for the competition for the Stockmann department store held a couple of years later. The ferroconcrete frame building was a real multipurpose building for motoring, containing, among other things, a sales display space, office spaces, a workshop, a garage, parking places, even a motor factory, and two tennis halls. The link with American car-centred business building of the time is obvious. The car-lift planned for the building was a new invention which, however, soon proved impractical as the number of cars grew. It is, indeed, notable that although before the First World War there were only around one thousand cars in the whole of Finland, the building had display space for more than one hundred cars and rentable car-ports for more than fifty. In this respect, the building project was either ahead of its time or over-scaled.

Text: Juhana Lahti / 2oth Century Architecture, MFA

Location

Salomonkatu 1, Helsinki
60.1707742, 24.9348561

Images

Main façade, Nikolayeff Commercial Building
Main façade, Nikolayeff Commercial Building (© Kari Hakli / MFA)
Northern façade, Nikolayeff Commercial Building
Northern façade, Nikolayeff Commercial Building (© MFA)
Original perspective drawing, Nikolayeff Commercial Building
Original perspective drawing, Nikolayeff Commercial Building (© MFA)
Original interior, Nikolayeff Commercial Building
Original interior, Nikolayeff Commercial Building (© Eric Sundström / MFA)
Original interior, Nikolayeff Commercial Building
Original interior, Nikolayeff Commercial Building (© Eric Sundström / MFA)
Nikolayeff Commercial Building
Nikolayeff Commercial Building (© Hanna Tyvelä)