Tampere Savings Bank Building
What became one of the more strange building projects in Tampere architecture history was that of the Tampere Savings Bank, begun in 1901, and which would take until 1926 to finally finish. Founded originally in 1857, the bank started operations at the previous Town Hall and thereafter continued in various rented properties until plans were finally made for the building of a new, specific bank building in 1899. The spot for the new bank was to be at the corner of Kauppakatu and Näsilinnankatu, where the bank's manager C.V. Åkerlund had his home at, and a competition was set for the design of the new building. Out of the 17 entries, the one selected for execution was by the architect firm Gesellius-Lindgren-Saarinen (the last of them, Eliel Saarinen, later making a successful career as a modernist architect in the United States) even though the first prizes went for different architects and firms.
Do to the high costs of construction, the bank was to be built in stages, the first part (the narrow section with the high roof in the pictures) coming first in 1901 and the second section at the other end of the plot being finished in 1903, all of this designed in the style of Finnish national romanticism popular at the very early years of the 1900s. Only there was a small caveat set by the bank's manager Åkerlund: he wanted to keep his residence in the old wooden house seated at the very corner of the street the bank was to be built on for another ten years! Therefore the plans of the architect firm could not, in fact, be finished fully until the clause for the full use of the land would lapse, by which time styles in architecture had already started to shift from the more wild days of early Jugend to more rational directions.
And despite the ten years having passed by 1910, the project didn't advance for another 15 years when finally a move was made to finish the bank entirely. However, by then Jugend had already long since disappeared as a viable architectural style, and replaced by what came to be referred to as "Northern Classicism", a style of more rational architecture taking cues from classicist motifs and usually built with a more monumentalist approach in mind before simplified functionalism eventually took its place. The completion of the bank was charged to Birger Federley, who had been the city's most prolific architect of the last 20 years, and who's fingerprints can still be seen throughout the city. In the event he was additionally asked to add one more floor to the old sections of the bank, the whole project showing one of the best meldings of a current style of architecture with that of the old when finished in 1926.
The corner section is almost pure classicism, but the window frames with its multitude of small panes is typical of Jugend, mirroring the similar use of frames in the older sections. Also with the additional floor, Federley simply replicated the older sections' window styles and triangular arches at a higher elevation to create the illusion the building having always been this high. Many other architects, particularly those who'd have followed just a few years later, would likely have not bothered with this level of detail to complete the building as a harmonic whole instead of a mish-mash of different eras, but Federley was always sensitive to take his surroundings into account. As it is, the bank stands now as a handsome entity in which national romanticism and classicism stand hand in hand without clashing with one another in any way.