Stora Enso to be main tenant of Varma’s wooden office building – architectural design competition for Katajanokka site

Varma is launching an international, invited architectural design competition for the design of the new wooden office building in Katajanokanlaituri, Helsinki. The office building will be built using renewable natural material, and it will house modern premises for Stora Enso’s new head office. Varma is also planning to include a hotel in the building.

According to Varma’s plans, the wooden office building project will have a total area of 20,000 square metres, of which Stora Enso’s premises will account for approximately 5,500 square metres. Varma has started to look for a hotel operator for the building. In addition to the hotel and Stora Enso’s head office, the building will house office premises for other businesses and service providers.

“As a responsible real property owner, we want to promote building with wood. As a construction material, wood lowers real properties’ carbon footprint and helps us achieve our carbon neutrality targets. In addition to the Katajanokka project, we have a wooden office building, Keilaniemen Portti, in the pipeline, with construction work due to begin in 2020. We are happy to collaborate with Stora Enso – there’s no better partner when it comes to building with wood,” says Varma’s Ilkka Tomperi, Investment Director, Real Estate Investments.

“As the renewable materials company, we at Stora Enso want our new head office to be located in a modern sustainable wooden office building. We are glad to be participating in a building project representing world-class wooden architecture in Helsinki, and also to be providing top-level work spaces for our personnel,” says Seppo Parvi, Stora Enso’s CFO and Country Manager Finland.

The lot is located at Katajanokanlaituri 4. Varma and Stora Enso will conclude a long-term lease concerning the premises. LEED Platinum green building certification will be sought for the building, which takes sustainability issues broadly into account.

International architectural design competition takes valuable waterfront lot into account

An international, invited architectural design competition will be arranged for the Katajanokka project in order to ensure a high standard of architecture for the building and transparent planning for the overall project. The design of the building should take into account the requirements set by the coastal scenery, access routes, the environment and the central location of the site. The project will be implemented in close co-operation with Stora Enso and the City of Helsinki.

“Helsinki fully supports this project as a major office building project that promotes the vitality of the city centre. A high-quality wood architecture project is well aligned with the city’s ambitious climate targets. I believe it is important to ensure that the building that will occupy this valuable site also makes the city a livelier and more pleasant place to live,” says Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori.

Detailed planning will start at the turn of the year. The preparatory work for the detailed plan and the architectural design competition will be scheduled so as to enable an open and inclusive dialogue on the competition submissions. The building is expected to be completed in 2023.

Further information:

Ilkka Tomperi, Investment Director, Real Estate Investments, Varma, tel. +358 50 379 1903
Marjut Tervola, Communications Manager, Varma, tel. +358 45 673 0120
Satu Härkönen, SVP, Communications, Stora Enso, tel. +358 40 832 7458
Heikki Mäntymäki, Communications Manager, City of Helsinki, Urban Environment Division, tel: +050 413 1729

Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company is a responsible and solvent investor. The company is responsible for the statutory earnings-related pension cover of some 900,000 people in the private sector. Premiums written totalled EUR 5.1 billion in 2018 and pension payments stood at EUR 5.7 billion. Varma’s investment portfolio amounted to EUR 47.4 billion at the end of September 2019. Further information:

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. Stora Enso has some 26 000 employees in over 30 countries. Our sales in 2018 were EUR 10.5 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY).

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