Scandic Grand Central
Former VR (Valtionrautatiet, Finnish national rail traffic operator) premises were transformed into a high-quality hotel. Quattroservices was responsible for the heating, sanitation and ventilation project management.
QUATTROSERVICES MASTERS DEMANDING PROJECTS ALSO IN HISTORIC BUILDINGS
Skilled project management in heating, sanitation and ventilation was required when the former VR (Valtionrautatiet, Finnish national rail traffic operator) premises were transformed into a high-quality Scandic Grand Central hotel. The building, which is protected by the Building Heritage Act and is over 100 years old, tested the skills of the builders in the centre of Helsinki.
The former administrative wing of Helsinki Central Station was renovated and opened in April 2021 as a stylish hotel. Quattroservices took responsibility for heating and sanitation project management, while NCC was the main contractor in the project.
Helsinki’s art nouveau style main railway station, completed in 1914, has special importance for Finns. It is the most famous work in Finland by architect Eliel Saarinen, who later moved and successfully continued his career in the United States. On the front façade, the impressive lantern bearer sculptures, designed by Emil Wikström, have featured in many modern advertising campaigns. Until recent years, VR’s headquarters staff worked in the same building. Now the wing has been transformed to the elegant Scandic Grand Central Hotel.
For Quattroservices, the project started in January 2019 and lasted two years. The company was responsible for the heating, sanitation and ventilation project management for both the renovation and the new building, i.e. the installation of the ventilation, heating and cooling system and the water and sewerage system. The plans were drawn by Granlund Oy. Quattroservices’ project managers supervised the installation work on schedule and in accordance with the plans and regulations, procured the necessary equipment for the contract – including 40 ventilation machines – and provided overall support.
The building is protected by the Building Heritage Act and is over 100 years old. Installation work was carried out in difficult conditions at times, requiring solid professional skills.
The historic building and the change from offices to a hotel required strong project management skills. Modernising the technology to meet today’s requirements and adapting it to the old premises differed considerably from new construction projects.
No new structures could be built on the roof of the building. For this reason, all the ventilation equipment in the renovated former administration wing is in the old attic spaces, which are small by today’s standards. The installation work was carried out in difficult conditions at times, requiring solid professional skills. In addition, all the corridors are protected by Heritage Act, which meant that alternative solutions were needed for the installation of heating, sanitation and ventilation in the rooms. The new ducts run through the rooms and some of the old rooms have been divided into smaller rooms by partitions through which the pipes has been routed.
Like other similar old buildings in the capital, the exceptional environment of the railway station posed challenges for everyone involved. The traffic in central Helsinki required tight scheduling of goods deliveries. The logistics contractor for the project needed to coordinate schedules with 15-minute accuracy from all parties involved. Close cooperation between all parties was needed to ensure the successful outcome of the multi-phase project.