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Helsinki

The Finnish design tradition is strong, both historically and today. Alvar Aalto has had a significant influence on an impressive number of public buildings, from university constructions to churches and concert halls, commercial buildings, etc.

In recent years, many architectural firms have embraced the use of wood, employing hybrid forms, conventional wood, and cross-laminated timber (CLT). Stora Enso, Finland's largest wood producer, is now constructing its headquarters centrally in Helsinki.

One of the unique aspects of Finland is the quality of educational institutions, ranging from primary schools to universities. Additionally, Helsinki has prioritised a brand as a cultural capital with several museums, a newly built library, and concert halls in the city centre.

Key themes:

Universities and public schools
From award-winning renovated Alvar Aalto University buildings to innovative primary schools. Finland consistently ranks at the top in international PISA assessments, and the latest schools emphasize interdisciplinary learning environments, sustainable design and energy consumption.

Urban development in 2 former industrial ports: Kalasatama & Jätkasaari


Smart Kalasatama is an initiative to improve the quality of life and communities in Kalasatama. The overall goal of the project is to give residents an extra hour a day through intelligent resource management and open residential areas to the public to enhance the community. By 2030, Kalasatama will accommodate 25,000 people (current population: 3,000) and 10,000 jobs.

Jätkäsaari has transformed from an industrial port to a residential area with distinct and colourful architecture. Here, the plan includes 18,000 residents and 6,000 office workers. In the future, it will be a melting pot of various services, independent shops, and efficient infrastructure, with tram routes, bike paths, and pedestrian paths.

Cultural construction, e.g.:

  • Rooftop Park: Recreational outdoor area with rainwater management and visionary design.

  • Cable Factory Cultural Centre: Transformation of a cable factory into a centre for dance, circus, and culture.

  • Churches: Finland has a unique design tradition in church construction.

Wooden constructions

From saunas to cultural houses, libraries, and Stora Enso's upcoming headquarters and mixed-use project, Katajanokan Laituri. A mixed-use project that will profile Stora Enso's both historical and future dominance in wood construction. The construction is expected to be completed in 2024 and is designed by Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit Oy; the engineers are SWECO Rakennetekniikka Oy.

Explore more about Helsinki

Helsinki can be advantageously combined with an extra 1-2 days to explore the areas around Turku to the west and Jyväskylä to the north. Contact us to learn more about the themes that apply to these areas.

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