Renovating a prestigious building in the city centre

We are renovating a property owned by Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company in Helsinki. The location in the densely built city centre adds its own flavour to the complex renovation of the building protected by Finland's National Board of Antiquities.

In the early 20th century, the former Atlas Bank was located on the corner of Yliopistonkatu and Mikonkatu in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. In 1929, the bank commissioned a high-value building for use as its headquarters. We are now renovating this building from basement to roof.

“We are dismantling the old interior walls. At the same time, we are renewing all surfaces and technical building systems, so you could say it is a 100% renovation job,” says Site Manager Kalevi Piiroinen.

From cubicles to open space

We started the works at Mikonkatu 9 at the start of June 2017. The project is due to be completed in October 2018.

When our work started, the layout of the building was typical for an office in the 1990s. The interior of the building was characterised by small cubicles. They are going to be replaced by an airy open space.

“We are going to reconstruct the technical building systems from top to bottom. The heating network is in such bad condition that it has to be replaced, not to mention the IT systems,” says Piiroinen.

A protected building in the heart of the city

The building’s exterior as well as parts of its interior are under the protection of Finland’s National Board of Antiquities. This is why the conservationists started to draw up the conservation plan well in advance before our work started.

“It’s not a hindrance at all. We’ve known about the conservation efforts right from the start. We just need to have a handle on the protection processes and initiate planning in cooperation with the authorities in time,” Piiroinen explains.

Working in the city centre requires careful communication and scheduling.

“Once a month, we have informed 15 nearby property companies of events at the construction site. In addition to this, we tell the neighbours about upcoming work every week. Our messages are sent to, for instance, a hundred homes and the hotel next door.”

The construction site is located on narrow streets. This is why material deliveries must be carefully scheduled.

“We schedule normal deliveries for the daytime, but if, for example, a crane needs to take up the whole street, the works need to take place during the night. This is bound to create some disruption, but cooperation in the area has nonetheless gone well.”

Tenant companies are heard during building stage

This is important to our customer, Ilmarinen. Once the project is completed, Ilmarinen will have an office building equipped with high-quality solutions and materials. This translates to good tenants for the company.

“The procurement of tenants proceeds side by side with the contract. We take the wishes of the tenant companies into account during the building stage,” explains Piiroinen.

  • We are renovating a property bought by Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company on Mikonkatu 9 in central Helsinki. The contract is due for completion in October 2018.
  • The contract has a gross area of 11,569 square metres and a volume of 38,149 cubic metres. We are building or renovating the basement storage areas, the street-level restaurant and shop floor, the 3rd to 8th floor office floors as well as the machine room on the 9th floor.
  • Upon its completion in 1929, the building acted as the main office of Atlas Bank. Designed by the architect brothers Toivo and Mikko Paatela, the prestigious property represented state-of-the-art building know-how of its era. 


Project name
Renovating a prestigious building in the city centre
Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company
Completion year
Business segment
Renovation Services