Marja-Riitta Norri Architects

Regatta Hotel and Merikatu Housing

Hanko, Finland

Regatta Hotel in Hanko used to be in a rather bad shape a couple of years ago. Now it has been woken up. And how: the art nouveau castle has been decorated in a timeless way with sophisticated colours, stylish furniture and materials of high quality. As a result of the renovation, the spaces now have a fascinating rhythm. This is what I'd like to see more of.

Sami Sykkö, journalist

The project began as an attempt to renovate the building of the old Hotel Continental. The hotel had been designed by Lars Sonc in 1898 and it had been completed in 1900. The original architecture represents European art nouveau. However, both interiors and façades had been ruined in a modernization attempt during 1960's. To support the initiative, a decision was made to develop a high-class apartment building on the adjacent lot.

The shell of the new apartment building is made of cast-in-place concrete. The façades are built of bricks and covered with plaster. The architecture of the building complements the old hotel's form and scale through correspondence of walls and windows, asymmetric façade layout, changes in volume, detailing and the use of textures.

In the beginning of planning it was uncertain what would have been preserved under the hotel's cladding panels. For instance, the installation method of the windows hadn't been documented. In the course of removing the claddings it turned out that openings had mostly been filled with bricks, which made it simpler to restore their old shape. Some of the ornaments had been destroyed when supporting rails for corrugated steel sheets and fibre cement boards had been attached directly to the plaster. However, most of them were restored. Similarly interesting details were found from the interiors under various coverings, and plans were updated accordingly to preserve them. The project also involved a concept for the new hotel as well as an interior plan done in collaboration with the operator.

  • Merikatu Housing, 2007-2011; 19 apartments, total gross area 2420 m².
  • Regatta Hotel, 2009-2012, 49 rooms, banqueting hall, loung, lobby bar and breakfast space
  • Published: Betoni – Concrete from Finland 4/2011

Regatta Hotel, the hotel on Foursquare, TripAdvisor and Booking.com.