Design competition for innovative wood construction starts in Finland


Senate Properties has announced a design competition to build new, innovative office premises to the Otaniemi technology area in Espoo, Finland.

A project initially named InnOta aims at constructing flexible office premises to be shared by Finnvera, Finpro, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes, and the Geological Survey of Finland GTK. New premises will cater for the versatile needs of these organisations while enabling new ways of working for their employees. The future building must be of high quality in terms of life-cycle economy, urban planning, and architecture. Selected design group is required to present special expertise in wood construction, among other skills.

The design competition is organized as a public procurement procedure by invitation according to the rules of the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA. Design groups willing to enter the competition can submit their applications by August 16, 2013. The competition starts September 16 and ends November 9, 2013. Results will be announced by March 2014.

New InnOta will be built so that it is eventually joined with the existing Geological Survey of Finland GTK building. According to a preliminary schedule, the construction of the project will commence in September or October 2014, and it will be handed over to the new occupants in October 2016. The total volume of both renovation and new construction amounts to circa 14,500 gross square metres with a cost estimate of EUR 35.5 million.

Shared premises improve Team Finland's services

InnOta's new section will become an epitome of wood construction. Wooden office buildings of this calibre are still few in Finland. Innovative objectives set for its design include promoting industrial wood construction, new concepts of working environments and workplace management, modern traffic arrangements, and smart parking.

Tekes, Finnvera and Finpro are central agents in the Team Finland exports-promotion model. Moving into shared premises will make innovation funding cooperation and internationalisation easier. A common space and a wide selection of services establish confidence for both Finnish and foreign companies. InnOta will function as a flexible, efficient one-stop shop for the customers served by all of the Team Finland organisations.

A showcase of wood construction

InnOta will be located in Otaniemi, Espoo, very close to the Aalto University and the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT. Urban plan for the area was approved by the Espoo City planning board on May 15, 2013.
Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Aalto University, and City of Espoo launched an extensive long-term development programme for the wood construction and timber industry already in 2012. One of the objectives of this programme is to form Otaniemi, Keilaniemi and Tapiola districts into a versatile showcase of Finnish wood construction know-how.

Construction project in brief

  • Total area of renovation and new wooden structures 14,500 gsm
  • Developer: Senate Properties
  • Main occupants: Finnpro, Finnvera, Tekes and GTK
  • Joined with existing GTK premises
  • Construction starts autumn 2014, handover autumn 2016
  • Working environment for ca. 600 employees
  • Cost estimate EUR 35.5 million
  • Location: Espoo, Otaniemi, Betonimiehenkuja 4
  • Innovation objectives include wood-construction expertise, new working environment and workplace management, green building, energy and eco efficiency, sustainability.

Link to Simap Europe site:

For further information, please contact:

Senate Properties

Olavi Hiekka, Director of Business Area Ministries and Special Premises
Tel. +358 205 811 400
olavi.hiekka (at)

Jonni Laitto, Construction Manager
Tel. + 358 205 811 752
jonni.laitto (at)

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