Suomenlinna Fortress Residential Quarters’ building C76

House of the Marching Band

Project description:

The four barracks, C76, C82, C83 and C84, in Suomenlinna were built in the 1840s–1850s. The barracks are situated in the southern part of Iso Mustasaari, and belong to the same garrison quarter which dates back to the 1830s, and was constructed by the Russian Navy. Throughout their history, the buildings have been used for accommodation or residential purposes. In the 1970s and 1980s the buildings were renovated and converted into apartments for civilians. For Suomenlinna, the 1970s meant a period when the military islands, which had been closed for centuries, were transferred from the Finnish Defense Forces to the civilian administration. 

Talli is responsible for the project and implementation plans of the residential quarter’s renovation project. The preservation of the values and special features of these buildings guide the renovation process. The strong and historically valuable architectural layer of the 70s is to be preserved and the principles of preservative renovation / conservation will be followed: only what is necessary will be renovated. The renovation, reutilization and thus long lifecycle of the buildings supports essential values of both the Governing Body of Suomenlinna and Talli; sustainability and reducing carbon footprint. 

The Officers’ Barrack C76 was completed in 1841 to be a barrack for Russian officers’ and since the independence of Finland until the start of 1970s, the barrack served as a home for the personnel of the Finnish Army, during which time it got the name “House of the Marching Band” (Soittokunnantalo). The previous renovation when the barracks were converted into rental apartments for civilian was completed in 1981. The structuring of the apartments and premises was based on the preservation of the original layout and the appearance of the crew halls. The same principle was followed in this renovation as well. 

The first building to be renovated was C76. The building has two residential floors, and 14 apartments. The base for the project was the renovation measures required for maintenance, the renewal of the building technology, the reconstruction of wet areas, and the partial renewal of base floor construction. A new ramped entrance was opened at the south end of the first floor. The common use cold room in the cellar was converted into storage space. The mechanical extract ventilation was preserved. The fixed furniture and the hallways, toilets and kitchens of the apartments, which were in poor condition, had to be replaced. The renovation was carried through with a modern touch, still preserving the appearance of the 1970s. The apartments’ floors were replaced with lacquered wooden floors that have the 70s written all over them. 

Project info:

Year:2021
Building permission granted:7/2020
Client:The Governing Body of Suomenlinna
Location:Suomenlinna, Helsinki
Size:1 778 m2
Protection status:Suomenlinna is a part of UNESCO World Heritage List and is a nationally significant built cultural environment (RKY 2009). The Uusimaa ELY Center has ordered Suomenlinna to be protected. The building C76 belongs to the protection category S1.
Original construction date:1841
Principal designer:Minna Lukander
Project architect:Karoliina Hoppu
Other team members:Petra Minkkinen, Jukka Sulonen, Mirella Abe, Ella Müller