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.
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.
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.
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.
“Japan has a great tradition in wood construction, but the use of wood in multi-storey buildings is a fairly new phenomenon,” said Jussi 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,” said Pekka Helin, architect of the pavilion.
Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.