The headquarters of ID BBN is located at Läntinen Rantakatu 3. The building originally housed the first electric power plant in Turku. It was built by G. A. Petrelius and designed by master builder Anton Salviander. The building drawings date back to 1898, when it was built as a one-storey, neo-Renaissance stone house.
The power plant building was handed over to Turun Puhelinyhdistys Oy in 1918 (known as the Turku City Telephone Company since 1945), which expanded the house into the yard and added a second floor in 1924. The architectural drawings were done up by architect Frithiof Strandell, who was also one of the owners of Turun Puhelinyhdistys Oy. In 1925, the telephone company received additional space in the adjacent building – premises vacated by an employment agency – and a passage was built between the two buildings.
In 1929, the power plant was again given another floor based on the architectural drawings of city architect Harald Smedberg. Between 1939 and 1940 the building was extended into the yard, according to the plans of architect Lauri Sipilä. At the same time, the power plant smokestack at the side of the building was dismantled.
The Turku City Telephone Company moved out of the power plant building in 2005 and the City of Turku decided to sell it together with the adjacent buildings. But a condition on the sale was that some of the building should be used for public cultural events. So, the old telephone company building in the courtyard was dismantled in order to make space for Turku’s premiere library. The old part of the building protected by the town’s plan remained unoccupied, awaiting the renovation.
Architectural and cultural value
As a building of great architectural and cultural-historical value according to city documents, the power company building could not be dismantled, nor could any construction or alteration work be carried out that would erode the architectural or cultural value or style of the façades or the roof. And when procuring a building permit, the builder must first consult with museum authorities.
A purchase agreement was signed in 2008 and the power plant property was acquired by the real estate company Läntinen Rantakatu 3, whose main shareholders are architect Benito Casagrande and his family, and Paavo Nurmi Oy.
The building underwent renovation from 2008 to 2009 according to architectural drawings created by Benito Casagrande from C & Co Ltd. Smör restaurant opened its doors on the lower level, the first floor was dedicated to office space, the second floor (the former telephone switching area) was renovated for an advertising agency (ID BBN) and apartments were built on the top floor. A building extension was added to the courtyard, where an elevator and a stairwell were placed. On the first floor, there was an art gallery, then an architectural firm, and in autumn 2018 ID BBN expanded its footprint to the first floor.
City of Turku
Museum Services, Cultural Heritage Department
ID BBN's Turku office is located by the Aura River at Läntinen Rantakatu 3. The building was originally Turku's first power plant.
Our windows look out onto Sweet Yellow Melon by Miina Äkkijyrkkä. The work combines heavy industrial material with a pastoral theme and is one of the public art acquisitions installed in the Turku Capital of Culture in 2011. A generous donation from real estate company Läntinen Rantakatu 3 made purchasing the sculpture possible.
In the courtyard, ID BBN's office is guarded by an unnamed work by a German sculptor, OdoRumpf, who worked for a real estate company owned by Benito Casagrande. Rumpf makes sculptures of collected scrap and recycled goods. According to gallerist Maaret Finnberg his sculptures are quite popular in Germany and many are on public display.
On the Aura River side of our building stands a monument created by Russian Andrei Kovaltshuk. It commemorates the meeting of Russian Emperor Alexander I and Swedish Crown Prince Charles XIV John in Turku in 1812.