Eira Villa District
The State Hotel, designed by Usko Nyström, is located on the bank of the Imatrankoski falls at a point that was already a traditional destination for travellers in the 19th century. The building of the new hotel became a necessity with the growth of tourism in the 1890s.
The State Hotel is stylistically linked more with the international Jugend style than with Finnish national romanticism. The spatial arrangement of the building is based on a central corridor and a staircase located at the core of the structure. In accordance with the ideals of the time, the State Hotel’s complex ground-plan, volume and façades form an integrated whole. The gently rising, Wagnerian staircase, with its references to the Vienna Jugend style, forms the spectacular heart of the building. The grey stone mosaic and the billowing motif that appears on the walls of the corridors, both typical of Nyström, bring to mind the river that runs alongside, giving the building a local flavour. The original interior decoration of the hotel was light and airy in a manner atypical of the Jugend style. The successful juxtaposition of decorative motifs and Puritanism are charming features of the design.
Text: Juhana Lahti / 20th Century Architecture, MFA