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News 01.02.2019

The Metsä Pavilion built in central Tokyo is a representative of Finnish wood architecture – Offering Finnish companies a stepping stone to the Japanese market


The Metsä Pavilion, to be completed as a collaborative effort of Business Finland and Metsä Group for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, will be constructed of Finnish wooden products. The Pavilion will be erected on the site of the Embassy of Finland in Japan and it will offer Finnish companies an inspiring opportunity to showcase their products and services in the country.

Finnish wood products and wood architecture will step into the spotlight in central Tokyo as the pavilion will be constructed of wooden structures. The Metsä Pavilion will be erected in conjunction to the Summer Olympics and Paralympics that the Japanese capital will host in 2020. Business Finland will be responsible for the realization of the pavilion in a joint effort with the Metsä Group, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Olympic Committee.

“The pavilion will stand out from the ordinary pavilion buildings. It will feature utterly Finnish architecture that is composed and smart and, at the same time, environmentally friendly. We believe that it will really stand out in a positive way,” comments Petri Tulensalo, Head of Sports Cluster from Business Finland.

Our goal is to showcase Finnish, sustainable circular economy and, in particular, efficient building solutions where wood is used,” comments Mikko Saavalainen, SVP of Business Development of Metsä Wood, the Metsä Group company focusing on wood products for construction.

Traditions of wood construction and sustainable solutions for the present

Both Finland and Japan boast long traditions of wood building. A simple, elegant and low key building style is particularly valued in Japan. The pavilion was designed to appeal to the Japanese eye with a novel and refreshing approach and a Finnish twist.

“The pavilion will be easily approachable and authentic, while still being of high quality and very elegant,” comments Pekka Helin, the architect behind the pavilion.

The building will reflect the nature of Kerto® wood: fast to build, light and environmentally friendly, while demonstrating how versatile uses wood can have in industrial building.

“The pavilion will be constructed of Kerto LVL elements that are prefabricated in Finland. The same principle is utilized when apartment buildings are built,” Saavalainen explains.

One of the themes of the pavilion is sustainability. The pavilion, approximately 200 sq. meters in size, is designed in Finland and the wooden elements are packed into approximately fifteen containers. These are shipped to Japan, unpacked in a numerical order and assembled in the yard of the embassy. The intention is to keep using the building in the future.

“When the pavilion is no longer needed, it can be dismantled, packed into the containers and moved to the next destination. The core message of the pavilion building is that we in Finland use wood in industrial applications in an ecological and sustainable manner,” Helin concludes.

Showcasing Finnish companies

During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the pavilion becomes the official National Hospitality House of Finnsish teams. Visitors to the pavilion will include the official delegations of the Finnish state, the Finnish Olympic Committee and the Finnish Paralympic Committee, company guests and cooperative partners, top athletes and tourists visiting the games. In the fall after the games, the facilities will be offered for the use of companies until the end of the year.

“It is very important for the Japanese for the games to be a success, and any companies and organizations contributing to their success will not be forgotten any time soon. The pavilion will offer Finnish companies an excellent venue for showcasing their products and operations to the Japanese and international guests alike by making the space their own with visual elements,” Petri Tulensalo from Business Finland explains.

We hope that companies from as many sectors as possible will be present in the pavilion, including the food and beverage industry, health industry, digital solutions, energy, circular economy, tourism and various consumer products, all of which are growing sectors of export to Japan. The pavilion is of interest among the companies already present in the Japanese market and those about to enter it.

“The goal is that the pavilion will feature both companies that are already established in the Japanese market and those looking to enter it,” Tulensalo confirms.

Further information

Petri Tulensalo, Head of Sports Cluster, Business Finland
Tel. +358 40 343 3437

Mikko Saavalainen, SVP Business Development, Metsä Wood
Tel. +358 50 555 1903