Dezeen Magazine

Hotel Torni by Fyra

Fyra celebrates bohemian history of Helsinki's Hotel Torni in contemporary revamp

Finnish interiors studio Fyra has fostered a "bohemian ambience" in this hotel in Helsinki by layering different styles, colours and historical references within its public spaces.

Hotel Torni was originally built in 1931 based on designs by architects Jung & Jung, with its 13 storeys making it the tallest building in Finland at the time.

Dining set up with wooden tables and mustard yellow banquettes in OR restaurant in Hotel Torni
Fyra has overhauled Hotel Torni's public spaces including its restaurant OR

Over the years, it became a base for spies during world war two and a favourite meeting place for artists, journalists and other cultural figures including Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and writers Mika Waltari and Frans Eemil Sillanpää.

Now, Finnish architecture firm Arco has undertaken a complete renovation of the building for hotel chain Sokotel. Fyra was tasked with overhauling Hotel Torni's public spaces including its lobby, restaurant and two bars, while local Studio Joanna Laajisto tackled the guest rooms.

Lobby of Hotel Torni by Fyra with Up 50 armchair by B&B Italia in front of pink wallpaper
Playful wallpaper and B&B Italia's Up 50 armchair feature in the lobby

"The aim was to create surprising but elegant elements that respect the building's original architecture and historic values," said Fyra.

"Although most of the building's original art deco features had been removed over the years, the marble walls and floor in the entrance, a grand fireplace in the Cupola Room and a pair of doors in the restaurant were still intact."

Seating area of Ateljee bar by Fyra with wooden tables and steel lamps
The Ateljee bar stretches across floors 12 and 13

"In our design, we did a modern interpretation of that era," Fyra told Dezeen. "But we did use some typical features of art deco."

This includes coloured ceilings, tubular chrome furniture and graphic floor tiles, as well as bespoke light fixtures with glass orbs in the lobby.

Seating area of bar in Hotel Torni with reflective steel surfaces and lights
Reflective surfaces dominate the bar's interior scheme

The historic Ateljee bar on the 13th floor offers views over Helsinki's rooftops in four different directions and was originally only accessible via a narrow spiral staircase.

But as part of the renovation, the bar was extended onto the 12th floor with its two levels connected by an elevator to improve accessibility and expand capacity.

Fyra's design team, led by Emma Keränen, Silja Kantokorpi and Eva-Marie Eriksson, furnished the space using reflective surfaces such as stainless steel counters so that the interior would maximise the panoramic views instead of competing with them.

Hotel Torni's restaurant OR is located at street level. Here, the design team layered different styles of furniture, bold colours and artworks to create a "bohemian ambience" that would reflect the building's history.

Meanwhile, tubular steel chairs and sofas with upholstered leather seats nod to the building's 1930s roots.

Circular counter in Amercian Bar by Fyra with green bar chairs
The American bar is located under the hotel's central dome

The American Bar was restored to its original location under the hotel's central dome. At its heart sits a circular bar counter, atmospherically lit from above, that echoes the shape of the dome.

For this space, the designers chose a palette of dark green and marble, complemented by lamps from Finnish industrial designer Paavo Tynell.

Seating area in bar designed by Fyra with assorted seating options
Original details such as marble fireplace mantels were retained

Founded in 2010, Fyra specialises in designing work environments, hotels, restaurants and retail spaces such as this stylised bright-pink parcel collection point in Helsinki.

Last year, the studio was named interior design studio of the year at the Dezeen Awards.

The photography is by Riikka Kantinkoski.