The architectural office of Palmqvist and Sjöström got off to a flying start when it won all three prizes, and even received the lone purchase, in the design competition for the building of the Ostrobothnian Student Association in 1910. Born in Kalajoki and educated in Oulu, Palmqvist’s own roots lay in Ostrobothnia.
The Ostrobothnian Student Association´s building, familiarly known as ‘Botta’, represents a clear return to 19th century ideas. Its symmetrical and robust cubic appearance, prominent cornice, slightly retracted top storey and handsome gambrel roof are features that became increasingly common in the 1910s and 1920s, ones particularly typical of architecture in Etu-Töölö. The judicious use of red granite as a component in the façades clearly marks the building as a continuation of the art nouveau era. Particularly noteworthy as well are the playful tops of the half-columns on the main façade featuring various pipers. Following the principles of classicism, the columns indicate the principal interior space of the building, in this case, the ballroom, which probably also explains the choice of pipers as decoration.
Source: Art Nouveau in Helsinki – Architectural guide (Helsinki City Museum)