Helsinki YWCA House
The student nation house by architects Armas Lindgren and Wivi Lönn is one of the architectural masterpieces in Tartu. It was completed in 1911. The high ceilings, prominent main hall and plenty of space have made it an ideal venue for events and festivities.
With its garden and fence it originally had the look of a Central-European urban bourgeoisie villa. The main façade is symmetrical, with the entrance discreetly from the left side of the building mass. In this way, the main hall with its five high windows on the street side takes over the whole length of the building.
In 1941, the building was hit with a bomb and only the outer walls survived. After the war, the building was given over to Tartu Arts School. 40 years later, the municipality returned the house to Sakala. A few years later, with great effort and support from abroad, it was finally renovated. The architect responsible for the renovation was Eva Layman.
The building has a basement, two main floors, an attic floor and a relatively big garden. The garden terrace is still used for mornings after big student parties. The beautifully nuanced façade has been plastered in white and elegantly faded pink. The garden fence has been reconstructed according to the original drawings found at the Museum of Finnish Architecture.
Text: Tarja Nurmi