The Stora Enso head office in Helsinki is an extraordinary building. It was designed by the iconic Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and dates back to 1962. Covered in white marble on the outside – full of exquisite details on the inside. However, this masterpiece does not really meet the requirements of a modern office space.In 2023 the 450 employees of the head office will be invited to a new location – a building constructed of massive wooden elements from Stora Enso, situated in the city centre by the water. Stora Enso will lease the bigger part but it will also host a hotel. The building will be designed by Anttinen Oiva Architects, who just were announced the winners of the architectural competition held by client builder, Finnish pension insurance company Varma.
The client builder, Varma, shares Stora Enso’s strong belief in wood and the many benefits of the material. They decided to organise an architecture competition for the design of the building and apply for a LEED Platinum environmental certification for it, as the project aims for the highest levels of sustainability. The objective of the architectural competition is to create a high standard of office premises that coincide with the nationally significant cultural environment and which also take into account the opportunity to enjoy the seaside location.
Six well-respected architectural firms with a background in wood construction were selected to participate in the competition; Anttinen Oiva Architects (FIN), ALA Architects (FIN), Shigeru Ban Architects Europe (FRA/JPN), Snøhetta (NOR), PES-Architects (FIN) and White Arkitekter (SWE).
The winning design entry is “Spring” by Anttinen Oiva Architects – an entry that showcases what a tree can do in a carbon neutral building named Katajanokan Laituri (Katajanokka Pier). “The winning design meets the targets set for the competition well. Its architectural solutions form a high-quality, natural entity that is well suited for a central seaside location”, says the Chairman of the jury Ilkka Tomperi, Investment Director, Head of Real Estate at Varma.
Take a look at the winning entry “Spring” here.
See all the design entries here.
The design of the new building will make use of the office concept that Stora Enso launched last autumn. A concept clarifying the diverse advantages of using wood – i.e. improving employee health and a low negative impact on the environment. That is why we believe that wood will be the building material of the renewable future.
Stay tuned to follow the progress of this example of world class wooden architecture – the new home of Stora Enso Helsinki.
Learn more about the Stora Enso building concept here.
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As a part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso believes that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. This is one of the reasons The Biorenewable Deployment Consortium (BDC) honoured Stora Enso with the Forest Product Innovation Award.