Winning design will have to wait says Under-Secretary of State
Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd have taken first prize in the architectural competition arranged by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for the new Embassy building in Tokyo, but at the same time as the announcement they were advised they would have to wait for the financial crisis to settle before the project could move forward.
The winner was announced by Mikko Paaso, Director for Real Estates, at an event to publicise the competition results held at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 13 March. At the event, Under-Secretary of State Antti Sierla said that he would be surprised if the building were completed during the present decade. “Owing to the economic situation in Finland and Japan, it’s probably necessary to put the project on hold for a bit,” he continued.
According to Director for Real Estates Mikko Paaso of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the building will be constructed in a manner neutral to the budget; i.e. so that the government need not grant specific budget funding. In order to do so, a collaboration with the Japanese private sector is being strongly considered. Sierla said: “We needed a midway point so that we could see whether this concept is feasible."
Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd's Aiki design was chosen unanimously by the jury consisting both of industry professionals and Ministry officials. “The most important is to create an image of Finland. The Embassy must represent Finland in the right way,” said Rainer Mahlamäki on behalf of the winning architects’ office at the event.
Entries to the competition were invited from ALA Architects Ltd; Heikkinen - Komonen Architects; Helin & Co Architects; JKMM Architects; Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd and SARC Architects Ltd.
The Embassy in Japan will be one in a series of Embassy renewals throughout the world where the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs aims to provide a modern showcase for the State of Finland.
Niki May Young