Turku Castle is one of the most important historical monuments in Finland. It was founded in the end of the 11th century as one of the royal castles of Sweden. The main keep was built from the 13th to 16th centuries and on April 20, 1614, during a visit by King Gustav II Adolf, it burned. After this it was used for storage. The vaultings and intermediate floors decayed. At the end of the 19th century the main keep was an open space from the roof to the cellar.
In 1939, Erik Bryggman was selected to design the restoration. During WWII the castle was badly damaged by Soviet air raids. Bryggman’s plans were presented in the Finnish Architectural Review Arkkitehti in 1944. The main solutions, such as the historical tour, had already found their final form. The aim was to use the castle as both a living museum and a meeting venue.
The repair work began in April 1946 with a new concrete roof to cover the northern wing. Also the ceilings were mainly built in concrete, but many spaces received a wooden ceiling with exposed hand-crafted beams. Several new stairs were built in modernist style. The floors are of wood or laid in brick and thus giving a strong feel of materiality. In 1951–52, star vaulting was built in the Nunnery Chapel as well as in the medieval King’s Hall with innovative concrete structures. For the King’s and Queen’s Halls on the Renaissance floor Bryggman designed cassette ceilings. Olli Kestilä later designed the ceiling of the Queen’s Chamber.
Since 1949, Bryggman’s daughter Carin Bryggman worked as the interior designer. After Erik Bryggman’s death in December 1955, Olli Kestilä was appointed as the restoration architect.
Text: Mikko Laaksonen
Source: Arkkitehti 9/1944