- Completion 1931
- PeriodConstructing the identity of a newly independent nation
- Year of selection1993
The Rauma offices and warehouse of the Central Finnish Cooperative Society (SOK) is located centrally at the end of the town’s main street. The building, later named Valtakulma, was completed in June 1931 in accordance with drawings that Erkki Huttunen had made a year earlier at the SOK building department. The building was SOK’s first office building designed in the Functionalist style, and it laid the basis and guidelines for the design of subsequent regional offices.
The design consists of two building masses: the elongated, two- and partly three-storey wing of the warehouse, which is linked on the street side via a curved stairwell to the four-storey office block. The building originally housed a local cooperative store and offices with sales halls, as well as some apartments. On the top floor was the director’s apartment, with its own roof terrace. The minimalist look of the light-coloured rendered building was enlivened by numerous sophisticated details, such as the rails of the roof terrace and flagpole, iron window frames, a granite-clad recess framing the bronze door of the main entrance and large neon lettering on the facade. Huttunen’s application of reinforced concrete in the office section was a technical novelty, although the construction of the building still consisted partly of traditional load-bearing brick walls. Other technical novelties included a telephone, plumbing and a passenger lift; the interior of the sales hall was modern and streamlined, with lamps from Taito Oy and tubular metal furniture from Merivaaran Rautasänkytehdas. The SOK offices in Rauma is an early example of international modernism in Finland and is comparable in its modernity to Alvar Aalto’s Turun Sanomat building (1930).
In 1957 SOK’s Rauma office was moved to Pori, at which point the building was converted into a factory. The original room layout and furnishings were destroyed, the flat roof was converted to a shallow hipped roof, the warehouse’s small-paned windows were changed for single-pane windows, and the long concrete awning above the docking bay typical of Functionalism was cut away. An extension to the building was completed in 1961. SOK sold the property in 1986. It is nowadays in commercial and residential use and, despite alterations, is still a representative example of early modernist commercial architecture in Finland.
Huttunen, Erkki (1932). ”S.O.K:n Rauman konttori”. Arkkitehti 1/1932.
Jokinen, Teppo (1992). Erkki Huttunen liikelaitosten ja yhteisöjen arkkitehtina 1928–1939. Jyväskylä Studies in the Arts, 41. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto.
Räihä, Ulla (2008). Satakunnan maakuntakaava. Kulttuurihistoriallisesti arvokkaat kohteet Raumalla: https://www.rauma.fi/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/kaav_002035liite_4_kulttuuriymparistot.pdf (haettu / accessed 7.8.2015).