• News
  • People
  • Long Read
  • Opinion
  • Weekend Wrap


Metsä Pavilion ready to serve as springboard for Finnish firms in Tokyo

Located in the heart of Tokyo, Metsä Pavilion will open its doors also to locals on so-called open-door days.

Business Finland

Metsä Pavilion, a building conceptualised by Business Finland and the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo, has opened its doors in the heart of the Japanese capital, providing Finnish companies a unique setting for creating contacts and promoting exports in Japan.

Initially set to be open for six months after the conclusion of the 2020 Summer Olympics, the wooden pavilion was opened on schedule despite the postponement of the sporting event and is to remain in operation until the end of 2021.

The building features a variety of creative and innovative solutions and technologies. Ministers Mika Lintilä and Ville Skinnari, as well as Nina Kopola, the director general of Business Finland, appeared in the opening ceremony as holograms with the help of a powerful 5G network set up by Nokia.

“This is genuinely astonishing technology,” stated Nita Pilkama, the programme director in charge of the project at Business Finland.

She estimated that completing the construction and opening the pavilion on schedule demonstrates the agility and responsible nature of Finland, especially in times of global crises such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Minister Mika Lintilä was one of the Finnish dignitaries to appear via hologram. Image: Petri Asikainen

Opening the door to future potential

Paavo Virkkunen, the director of promotion services at Business Finland, envisioned that the pavilion will serve as a setting for business negotiations, networking events and raising awareness of Finland.

The Japanese public will also have an opportunity to visit the building on open-door days that showcase various aspects of the Finnish culture and society.

“The open-door days are interesting especially because they offer an opportunity to get to know Finnish products, the Finnish lifestyle and Finland as a travel destination,” he said.

The thematic days and weeks also strive to highlight the Finnish key industries and expertise, grouped under titles such as “Sustainability week” and “Food from Finland week”.

Finland has an enormously positive image in Japan. The opening ceremony was attended by more than 70 local media outlets, either physically or virtually, with coverage expected from the likes of Asahi and NHK.

The opening ceremony was attended by more than 70 local media outlets. Image: Petri Asikainen

Ecological style

Metsä Pavilion’s main partner company is Metsä Group, executive partner companies Arctic Blue Gin, Finnair and Nokia, and premium partner company Supercell. These are joined by a large contingent of supporting partners from Finland.

Underlining how wood can be used ecologically and sustainably, the building itself is constructed from Metsä Group’s Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) products, which means that once the pavilion to eventually demolished, it can be sent to another location and rebuilt there.

One of the themes of the pavilion is sustainability, and in the future the building will be used for other purposes as well. Image: Helin and co

“Japan has a great tradition in wood construction, but the use of wood in multi-storey buildings is a fairly new phenomenon,” saidJussi Björman, director of business development, construction at Metsä Wood. “The Metsä Pavilion is part of our business plan for that market. [It] is a showcase of how to construct a stylish building fast by using standard elements.”

The pavilion’s design is courtesy of award-winning Finnish architects Helin & co. The design is based on Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL-based elements which have been published in its Open Source Wood service.

“The pavilion is approachable and authentic while being stylish and of high quality at the same time,” saidPekka Helin, architect of the pavilion.

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

By: Aleksi Teivainen