Elia Heikel and new construction technology

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 1915, architect Selim A. Lindqvist, created a plan to elevate the courtyard wings up to four floors. At the same time, a layer of “kokoliitti” plaster was added to the insulation on the highest floor of the framework on the Aleksanterinkatu side. The tonnage of the existing building units was accurately calculated in context with the elevation.

Interior designer and artist Antti Salmenlinna created a set of plans in the spring of 1945 which placed a beautifully sweeping staircase between the first and second floor of the main building on Aleksanterinkatu. This staircase was removed in 1974. The store windows and entrances on the Aleksanterinkatu side were also replaced in 1945.