Kuopio City Hall
Kuopio City Hall was built between 1882-1885. The building was designed by architect F.A. Sjöström, a co-worker of architect Josef Stenbäck. The first function was held in the ballroom in 1885 but final work was not completed until 1886. Stylistically, Kuopio City Hall belongs to the second half new renaissance period of the 1800s. It is a listed building protected by the city’s building plans and is part of a nationally significant cultural building environment.
Kuopio City Hall has been chosen as one of the three most beautiful city halls in Finland in 2009 and 2017. The current reddish brown exterior of the building dates back to 1974. For the first almost hundred years, the exterior walls of the City Hall were a light cream in colour, like the interior walls of the ballroom today.
City Hall's entrance hall style, which is based on dark colours, is clearly different from the light colours of the decorative painting upstairs. Architect Sjöström was reportedly responsible for choosing the decorative themes which comply with the international style books and magazines of the period.
The decorative themes do not follow a uniform line but have the richness and versatility of the spirit of the time.
Around the borders of the ceiling of the upper hall are the coats of arms of the municipalities that joined Kuopio. Kuopio rural municipality (1969), Riistavesi (1973), Vehmersalmi (2005), Karttula (2011), Nilsiä (2013), Maaninka (2015) and Juankoski (2017) all joined the city of Kuopio.
On the first floor of City Hall, there is the City Hall Office and other administrative areas. On the second floor there is the ballroom, City Hall meeting room, mayor's office and staff refectory. On the wall of the refectory a five-piece painting, Piirileikki forest by Juho Rissanen, relates the story of Kuopio's internationality. A Kuopio-born artist painted a work in France, Saint-Germain-en-Laye in Paris, which was commissioned by a Danish oil wholesaler for his home in Naerum, Denmark.
Some issues regarding City Hall’s decorations have remained a mystery e.g. the rectangular ceiling of the floor landing has been signed but the signature of the paintwork has been interpreted in different ways.
Over the years, the functions of City Hall have changed a lot. The building has been used, for example, as a restaurant, a jail and a fire station with horses. Who knows how the tasks of the City Council will shape it in the future.