The House of Science and Letters was originally designed and built for the use of Lisa Hagman’s Private Classes school.

Teacher and the director of the school, Lisa Hagman (1882–1950) commissioned young architect Elsa Arokallio to design a five-story school building to Kirkkokatu, Kruununhaka, near the centre of Helsinki. Lisa Hagman, as well as her aunt Lucina Hagman (1853–1946), who had originally established the private school, were active members of the women’s rights movement. It was natural to choose a female architect to design the new school building. Lisa Hagman’s Private Classes, representing Nordic Classicism, was completed in 1925. The gymnastics hall, also designed by Elsa Arokallio, was constructed already in 1922. It is located in the courtyard and has a red brick façade. Lisa Hagman’s Private Classes was one of the most significant works of Elsa Arokallio, who was among the pioneering female architects in Finland in the early 20th century.

In 1996 the building was refurbished and since then it has been housing the House of Science and Letters. The classrooms are used as meeting rooms of the scientific associations. The gymnastics hall is a lecture hall. A café is situated on the ground floor of the school building.

Location

Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki
60.1708271, 24.9576842

Additional media

MEDION DIGITAL CAMERA, The House of Science and Letters
MEDION DIGITAL CAMERA, The House of Science and Letters (© Hanna Tyvelä)
Lisa Hagman's Private Classes in 1926, The House of Science and Letters
Lisa Hagman's Private Classes in 1926, The House of Science and Letters (© Eric Sundström / HKM)
Courtyard of Lisa Hagman's Private Classes in 1926, The House of Science and Letters
Courtyard of Lisa Hagman's Private Classes in 1926, The House of Science and Letters (© Eric Sundström / HKM)
Gymnastics hall in 1922, The House of Science and Letters
Gymnastics hall in 1922, The House of Science and Letters (© Eric Sundström / HKM)
Gymnastics hall in 1922, The House of Science and Letters
Gymnastics hall in 1922, The House of Science and Letters (© Eric Sundström / HKM)
Hallway in the late 1920s, The House of Science and Letters
Hallway in the late 1920s, The House of Science and Letters (© Eric Sundström / HKM)
Classroom photographed in 1926, The House of Science and Letters
Classroom photographed in 1926, The House of Science and Letters (© Eric Sundström / HKM)
A break between classes in the 1930s, The House of Science and Letters
A break between classes in the 1930s, The House of Science and Letters (© Pietinen Aarne Oy / HKM)
The building was planned to be demolished in the 1970s, The House of Science and Letters
The building was planned to be demolished in the 1970s, The House of Science and Letters (© Eeva Rista / HKM)