The Aleksanterinkatu 21 property is built in 1899 and it is a commercial center in the heart of Helsinki. It is located between the Central Railway Station and Stockmann department store as well as beside the Three Blacksmiths Statue. It is a part of the City Center shopping mall.
The property has 9 floors of which 5 above ground and 4 underground. The flow through the City Passage which takes you through the block from Aleksanterinkatu 21 is about 7 million people per year. The property has a glass ceiling and it is a plaza-like commercial gallery. There are altogether 8200 m2 of business-, office- and storage space which are leased out. Out of the whole space 4000 m2 consists of business space, 2700 m2 office space and 1500 m2 storage space. The premises are modern and extremely suitable for office-, customer service-, asset management- and healthcare companies offering diverse amenities in the central downtown of Helsinki.
The property comprises a vast restaurant world including Hard Rock Cafe, Ravintola Harald, Pizza Hut and Robert’s Coffee. Fashion and specialized stores are well represented by Esprit and KappAhl as well as Kultajousi and NT-Bags which can all be found on the ground floor. Healthcare and wellness services are represented by City-hammaslääkärit, Hypoksi Oy and City Klinikka. Furthermore United Bankers runs their office in the building offering banking services.
Oy Julius Tallberg Ab leases out business premises from the Aleksanterinkatu 21 property.
The western end of Aleksanterinkatu started to take shape in the 1830s when the land in the Kluuvi district was dried and the city plan created by Ehrenström was extended. Intendant Carl Ludvig Engel created the plans to redesign the layout of the streets and city blocks in 1837–38. Block 96 ended up being rather large compared to the traditional square block structure of the city. This was because the western and eastern Heikinkatu streets that ran diagonally in the street network of downtown
Elia Heikel’s professional skills made it possible to accomplish the structurally challenging store window floor and the store premises without partition walls. Here Heikel consistently used metal structures. He reinforced the structure of the store windows with double metal columns. According to the captions for the drawings, the facades of the upper floors were enforced with metal structures and the Monier method, which uses reinforced concrete. Heikel constructed the columns using steel rails and I-beams, riveting them into cross-sectional columns.
In 1958 the owners of all five properties attached to the City Passage commissioned architect Viljo Revell to develop the old Soopeli (sable) block of commercial buildings. The plan was first implemented on three plots while the measures related to Aleksanterinkatu 21 were to be implemented later. Architects’ offices Viljo Revell and Heikki Castrén, later Castrén–Jauhiainen–Nuuttila, created a couple of renovation plans at the beginning of the 1970s, but the actual renovation work did not begin until the 1980s. The most visible change of this 1980s renovation was the covering of the courtyard in Aleksanterinkatu 21.