The renovation of Merikasarmi was carried out as a alliance project involving the owner Senate Properties and NCC Finland. Quattroservices was responsible for the HVAC project management.
Katajanokka in Helsinki has recently been a site of one of the most significant renovation projects in the capital. In 2018-2021, the 200-year-old Sea Fortress, which today houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was renovated to better meet modern requirements. The fact that the whole area is protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency, has an impact on the layout as well as the choice of materials and colours.
Merikasarmi is part of historic Helsinki. Architect C.L. Engel, who also designed the Helsinki Cathedral, drew the plans for the barracks for Russian soldiers in the early 19th century. The main building, the sailors’ building, was the first to be completed in 1820, followed by the so-called western, officers’ building and, a little later, the hospital.
When Finland became independent, the buildings were used by the Finnish army until the 1950s. In the 1980s, they underwent a major renovation. Five new buildings were added to the area. The total area of the buildings renovated in the 2020s is about 26 000 square metres.
The renovation of Merikasarmi was carried out as a flagship project involving the owner, Senate Properties, and NCC Finland. Quattroservices was responsible for the HVAC project management.
– A renovation project involving the Finnish Heritage Agency is always different from a new construction project. For example, the colours were carefully specified, which had an impact also on the choice of building services equipment. In addition, the building services shafts or technical rooms should not be enlarged. The biggest challenge was the relatively small engine rooms where the building services had to be accommodated. Same applies for the new technology, which had to fit above the suspended ceilings, where there was no excess space, says Ville Hanhilahti, HVAC project manager at Quattroservices.
– Merikasarmi is an interesting and demanding site. Every contract always has its own special features. The most important thing is that the cooperation between everyone involved in the project has been very good all along, Hanhilahti confirms.