Interior design Päivi Pentikäinen
Helsinki, Finland, 2017

Martela’s project: to improve an uncomfortable space with a low utilisation rate

“Kekkoslandia” is a meeting space named after President Urho Kekkonen in the Posti headquarters in the Ilmala district of Helsinki. The name refers to the utterly practical design style of the 1970s – a bare style, much like the bald head of President Kekkonen, one of the most prominent figures of Finnish history. The utilisation rate of the meeting facilities was just 17% at its lowest.

Posti needed pleasant and comfortable facilities for teamwork and project work. Kekkoslandia had to be modernised in terms of its technology, but Posti also wanted the area to reflect the company’s story and history.

Pleasant facilities that reflect the company history

Martela was responsible for identifying the renovation needs and for carrying out the modernisation project. “The wooden floors and some of the old furniture was renovated. For example, the chairs designed by Yrjö Kukkapuro, which were a little worn out, were given new life by an upholsterer. We have received very positive feedback on the overall design solution,” says interior designer Päivi Pentikäinen.

Martela cooperated closely with the Posti Kiinteistöt real estate company, the Postal Museum and graphic designer Susa Laine. The graphics on the walls and doors have a postmark theme, and the images are based on old Posti advertisement posters. For example, the sliding door to the kitchen is adorned by a familiar, old advertisement for a postbus.

“The journey back in time begins at the stairs leading to the meeting facility, and the consistent theme continues from the meeting rooms to the toilets. The old posters inspire discussion, as many people remember them from their childhood. We also have art from the Postal Museum on the walls,” says Pentikäinen.

Martela supplied furniture that matches the spirit and colours of the 1970s. These include Mini Kilta chairs, Trailer and Plus+ tables, Movie ottomans and other meeting space furniture. The acoustics have been improved with new carpets and curtains, as well as acoustic panels with the same postmark theme.

Utilisation rate improved significantly

The modernisation project carried out by Martela provided Posti with the comfortable meeting facilities it needed. The utilisation rate of Kekkoslandia has increased to 92% at its best, and the facilities are even used at the weekends, and frequently by other companies. Thanks to its versatility and flexibility, Kekkoslandia is also a popular venue for team and training events and team meetings.

Kekkoslandia has entered the Niinistö era

Päivi Kyllönen, Facility Manager at Posti Kiinteistöt, is pleased with the cooperation with Martela. “We worked well as a team and inspired one another. As a result, we have a very pleasant and highly functional space.”

“The refurbished Kekkoslandia proudly tells the story of Posti to its users, with a twinkle in its eye. This laid-back work environment is suitable for many uses, which is reflected in its increased utilisation rate and the positive feedback. I’m proud of Kekkoslandia: it has successfully and stylishly entered the President Niinistö era,” says Kyllönen.