An office building, known as the Aura, in Töölö, Helsinki, was converted into a hotel. The Uljas building represents the international style of the buildings of the early 1960s in Helsinki. The building has undergone many changes over the decades, so there is now almost nothing left over from the original look.
The Aura name comes from the insurance company Aura, which, after an architectural competition, built the office in Töölö at the corner of Topeliuksenkatu and Tukholmankatu. The building, designed by Eero Virkkunen, was completed in 1962. The international modernist model of transformation was inspired by the 21-storey Lever House in New York. Mies van der Rohen’s metal-glass architecture also served as an influence.
The original powerful graphic expression has now been restored to the façade, giving the building an urban image. The changes to the building have given it a new lease of life. There are 200 hotel rooms and two restaurants on the 11 ground floors of the building. Some rooms have old pillars, giving them a unique personality. Three of the hotel floors were designed for use by patients from the adjacent hospital according to the “Easy to move” concept. These rooms include wider doorways. The building facilities were placed on their own floor above the rooms.