GLO Hotel Art
The impressive GLO Hotel Art is an arresting sight. Since 1903, it has been one of Helsinki’s premier cultural-historic landmarks – and an archetypical example of the breath-taking turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau style. It is more castle than building, with its majestic towers and balconies. Its imposing walls of grey granite cast an enticing aura, and the playful arch windows and statuesque doors do more to draw you in. Inside there is plenty of ornamentation to delight the eye, with stylized and boldly colorful nature motifs that fascinate at every turn.
Architecture such as this is truly one-of-a-kind, a union of the delicate European Art Nouveau tradition with its offshoot, Finland’s National Romantic style. The building tells the story of a nation rediscovering its roots and waking up its ancient shared identity.
GLO Hotel Art is one of Helsinki’s best-loved architectural gems. Designed by Karl Lindahl and Walter Thomé, the striking edifice was originally intended to serve as the leisure headquarters for the students of the nearby Polytechnical Institute.
Now, after years of living quietly, the castle on Lönnrotinkatu has been restored to its former magnificent glory. Every inch of GLO Hotel Art has been painstakingly renovated to reveal its original beauty. Standing in the building one can sense the swirl of emotion that Finland experienced in the early 20th century, as it dreamed of achieving sovereign nation status.
GLO Hotel Art is located in central Helsinki, a short walk from everything worth seeing in the city. Even so, it is slightly off the beaten path, meaning its well-preserved surroundings maintain a historic integrity – a glimpse of what Helsinki was like before globalization.
Left or right? Exiting GLO Hotel Art you will find delicacies if you go one way and art and fashion if you go the other.
Following Lönnrotinkatu to the right you will end up at Hietalahti market and market hall. The market hall is currently the most interesting gourmet market in Helsinki. There are various restaurants, including vegetarian ones, and cafés. On Saturdays they offer a DJ and tidbits until 10 in the evening.
A turn to the left takes you to the corner of Lönnrotinkatu and Fredrikinkatu. A little forward and you enter the Old Church Park. On either side you will find two different galleries, Gallerie Forsblom and Helsinki Contemporary. Both are definitely worth a visit.
On Bulevardi lies a true Helsinki institution, Café Ekberg, where you can see elderly ladies having coffee, as well as people who intend to be an elderly lady enjoying coffee in later life.
Fredrikinkatu has grown into a Helsinkian fashion street, filled with small and interesting fashion brands. Pop into Liike or Asuna. The decorator might want to visit Johanna Gullichsen Textile Craft & Design and Irene Lemmetti's Zarro. Punavuori is a great area to look around the city with many small boutiques and excellent cafés, to which you simply need to pay a visit.
We GLOve it here!
GLO Hotel Art is located in central Helsinki, a short walk from everything worth seeing in the city. Even so, it is slightly off the beaten path, meaning its well-preserved surroundings maintain a historic integrity – a glimpse of what Helsinki was like before globalization. The street of Lönnrotinkatu in particular is a microcosm of the cityscape’s development, testament to the layers of period architecture that make up the seaside city.
For many older Finns, the castle that is the GLO Hotel Art represents beloved memories. Many still remember it best as the “Old Poli”, the former stomping ground of the technical school students, where countless stories and adventures got their start. What began as a student party and meeting venue in the early 1900s went on to house a variety of other facilities, including banks, hotels and restaurants as the decades moved on. GLO Hotel Art has offered fine dining and accommodation in the space since 2012.
"Design is the solving of a puzzle. I believe there is no point in starting from what's there or believing in the obvious, you have to think for yourself"
- Eero Aarnio, Finnish furniture designer
our suggestions to you
Just around the corner from GLO Hotel Art is the long-established centre of Helsinki’s cultural life, Alexander Theatre, that is filled with action every day. The theatre's repertoire includes all types of concerts, theatrical and dance performances.
GLO FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW
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Pictures © Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki, Sakke Somerma/Visit Helsinki