One of the finest examples of the Kruununhaka Art Nouveau is the House of the Karelians. It was built by the Karelian student fraternity of the University of Helsinki. The building was designed by architect Onni Tarjanne and it was completed in 1911.

While embodying influences from the design vocabulary of art nouveau, this house also attests to a pursuit of discipline and regularity. The grey granite façade links with green plastered walls. The two bear heads on the façade and the relief depicting the Karelian coat of arms above the window bay remain signs of the original builder.

Due to financial problems the fraternity was forced to relinquish the house already in 1916. A Jaeger movement’s secret recruitment office operated in the house in 1915 under the name of the Helsinki Forest Office. Jaeger movement was born in 1914 among the Finnish students with the aim of separating Finland from Russia by military means.

Source: Art Nouveau in Helsinki – Architectural guide (Helsinki City Museum)

Location

Liisankatu 17, Helsinki
60.1742432, 24.954738

Images

Karjalaisten talo – The house of the Karelians from 1910 , The Karelian House
Karjalaisten talo – The house of the Karelians from 1910 , The Karelian House (© Matti Similä / HKM)
Liisankatu street view, The Karelian House
Liisankatu street view, The Karelian House (© Sakari Kiuru / HKM)