The Folks Hotel Konepaja
The new hotel housed in remodeled railway engineering works opened in October 2020. Located in Helsinki’s Vallila district, the project is part of a wider regeneration plan to inject new urban life into the area, already prized for its historic red brick industrial architecture. The present plans will see the restoration and refurbishment of the characterful listed industrial buildings that have started to attract contextually sensitive new housing into Vallila.
The design of the Folks Hotel Konepaja responds to the identity of this Helsinki quarter but it also adds a welcome new metropolitan element for those working and living in the area. The Hotel’s front of house addresses the street in a way that invites passers-by to come in and enjoy the layers of history that are present within its walls. These range from a Bruno F. Granholm designed administrative building dating from 1901, to a 1920s workers cafeteria and training facility, to an early 1980s office block.
The transformation of the existing three buildings into a hotel was technically challenging due to the specification required to ensure the new uses meet high international standards and that the protected buildings are respected. The introduction of contemporary building materials and their colour palette was carefully considered so that they play on the existing architecture and update it in a sympathetic and creative way. Original interior features, such as hand-railings in communal staircases and the 1950s ceiling paintings, have been retained.
The result is an exceptionally atmospheric 146-room hotel with a restaurant, sauna, gym, meeting spaces as well as a roof terrace overlooking this distinct part of Helsinki.