Stora Enso headquarters

Location: Helsinki, Katajanokka Type of assignment: Historical survey Orderer: Stora Enso Oyj Timing: 2007 Scope: 12 000 m2 Architects: Alvar Aalto Year of completion: 1962

The headquarters of the Stora Enso company designed by Alvar Aalto were studied as part of an extended process ending in the building switching owners and becoming listed as a landmark building by law. The office building is located at a particularly high profile location in the historic centre of Helsinki. It is a a prominent visual element in the cityscape around the Kauppatori and Esplanadi area near the seashore.

At the time of the survey the white marble facade of the building had dilapidated and was in need of repairs. The building’s owner was looking to re-clad the facades with a more durable kind of marble. For this reason different cladding options were looked into from a conservationist viewpoint. The office building was completed in 1962 and the interiors were especially lavish. While studying the building it was noticed that Aalto had designed the interior office spaces, divided by ready made wall elements, to be modifiable to fit the building’s occupant’s needs thus making the building inherently alterable.

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