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Three Finnish finalists compete to design railway station nearby Moomin Theme Park in Japan

Three Finnish finalists compete to design railway station nearby Moomin Theme Park in Japan

In June 2017, Japanese Seibu Railway and Finpro launched a competition for Finnish designers for the renewal of Hanno railway station. The idea is to bring the Finnish spirit all the way from the Nordic leisure centre and the Moomin valley park, planned to open in the city, down to the train station. Now the three finalists have been announced. Competing for the prize to design the overall concept of the station are the design companies Kuudes Helsinki, Lindroos Architects and Futudesign as well as N.e.o Ark.

The high quality and modern look of Finnish design is acquired in Japan and thus inspired Seibu Railway, in cooperation with Finpro, to organize a design competition only for Finnish companies. Today, the Moomins, Marimekko and Iittala have charmed their way into Japan. Now, the request is to make Finnish design a part of the everyday city environment as Hanno railway station’s interior is rebuilt from the ground. A Nordic leisure center called Metsä as well as a Moomin Theme Park are planned to open in Hanno city in 2019.

“In Japan, Finnish design expertise, pure design, and everyday functionality have long been highly regarded. When choosing the finalists, we specifically looked at how the proposals took into account the history and local culture of Hanno. As a whole, the level of all Finnish companies and the perception of their proposals were very impressive", says Seibu Railway's manager Mr.Kikuo Yamasaki.

The competition attracted much interest in the design sector and as many as 16 domestic design and interior design companies registered to take part during the summer. Based on the proposals, Seibu Railway chose three finalists that will now be invited to Japan to explore Hanno Railway station in more detail. These three companies, competing for the prize to design the overall concept of the station, are Kuudes Helsinki, Lindroos Architects and Futudesign as well as N.e.o Ark Oy.

"It was great to note that the design competition attracted a lot of interest among Finnish top designers. The proposals represented innovative democratic design – the best of Finnish design that citizens can enjoy in an everyday environment", says Irma Patala, Finpro's head of creative industries.

The design competition for Hanno railway station is a part ofFinland's centenary celebration and the winner will be announced on Finland’s Independence Day 6 December.