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Oulu being marketed to investors with the help of an international architectural competition

Oulu being marketed to investors with the help of an international architectural competition

The Unbelievable Challenge aims to bring Santa Claus’ logistics center to Oulu and create marketing buzz for a valuable commercial area

Together with the Ruukki Construction, Oulu, the Capital of Northern Scandinavia, has launched an architectural competition in which participants are asked to design a new logistics center for Santa Claus in Oulu. The competition is hoped to provide international marketing buzz for a valuable commercial area and present Oulu as an interesting investment destination located in the middle of the hottest growth hot spot in northern Europe.

Through the competition, the Oulu region gets to participate in a major modern design process, which might find a world-class operator for the so-called Perävainio lot, located near the busy intersection of Lentokentäntie and the Pohjantie motorway. The area is currently one of the most promising commercial centers in Finland and is located just 7 km away from Oulu city center, where comprehensive city construction efforts are already underway with investments totaling 400 million euros.

The international architectural ideas competition ”The Unbelievable Challenge” is being organized by the Ruukki Construction in co-operation with architecture company Snøhetta, Helsinki Design Week and the City of Oulu, Finland. The competition is open from September 4 to November 17, 2014. Competition entries should be submitted in English. The competition is open to young architects, designers and architectural and design students, as well as industry professionals. The competition website can be found at

Since Santa Claus is known throughout the world and he is the market leader in his field, the aim of the competition is to create a unique, inspiring and innovative solution for his new logistics center. The logistics center should be highly functional, but also display high-class architectural values and contribute to a stimulating cityscape. It should provide visitors an experience which they will never forget, but also serve as an energy-efficient and sustainable solution, one suited to the demanding conditions near the Arctic Circle in Oulu, Finland.

The design site is in the district of Perävainio in the city of Oulu, where the city’s Urban environmental Committee has reserved a suitable lot for the competition. Since Oulu serves as the logistics hub of Northern Finland, the site is an ideal location for Santa Claus’ new logistics center. The site is located some 7 km from the city center, Oulu Airport and the harbor, and a few hundred kilometers from Santa Claus’ headquarters and factory in Korvatunturi. The overall site area is approximately 38,000 m2 and the gross area of the new logistics center is approximately 15,000 m2.

The winner of the competition will get a 10-week, fully-paid internship and the opportunity to work on fascinating projects at the international architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and brand design company Snøhetta in Oslo, Norway. The internship will begin from the end of August, 2015. The approximate total value of the prize is €25,000 and includes salary, taxes, deductions and rent for an apartment in Oslo.
In addition to this, the jury will award the winning participant and a minimum of four (4) other proposals a cash prize of €1,000 each, and may also give honorable mentions.

The competition jury is full of strong international expertise and includes:

Eli Synnevåg, Senior Architect MNAL, Snøhetta, Norway
Marta Sękulska-Wrońska, Architect and Partner, WXCA, Poland
Petteri Lautso, Sustainability Director, Ruukki, Finland
Kari Korkman, Founder and Director, Helsinki Design Week, Honorary Member of Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland
Ritva Kuusisto, City Planning Architect, City of Oulu, Finland
Santa Claus, Investor, Korvatunturi, Finland
Competition secretary: Tiina Tukia, VP Marketing Ruukki, Finland

You can download the competition documents at > Brief & prize
Google Street View:
More information about the architectural competition:
City of Oulu, City Planning Architect Ritva Kuusisto, tel. +358 (0)50 390 0049 ritva.kuusisto(at)

More information on investment destinations:
Jyrki Kemppainen, Key Account Director, Tourism, Trade, Services, and Logistics +358 (0)44 499 3296

Ruukki Construction

Ruukki Construction serves customers in the construction business. We deliver products and services ranging from design to installation to promote the business of our corporate customers, who include investors and construction companies. Consumer customer and professional roofers are served with roofing products and installation services under the Plannja and Ruukki brands. In addition to retail outlets, we serve roofers via Ruukki Express stores and Plannja service points across 9 countries. Ruukki Construction has around 3,500 employees and production in 20 plants in Europe. Comparable net sales in 2013 were €740 million. Ruukki Construction is a division of SSAB. SSAB is a Nordic and US-based steel company operating in over 50 countries. See NASDAQ OMX in Stockholma and Helsinki.


Oulu – Capital of Northern Scandinavia – growth and development hotspot of Northern Europe.
BusinessOulu is in charge of implementing the City of Oulu's industry policies, and providing growth companies with the services they require, in addition to promoting export, import, investments, and employment. With the help of its international partner network, BusinessOulu acts as a partner to companies and helps them grow, particularly in the North, where it leads and participates in the operations of Suomi-talo (”Finland Houses”). BusinessOulu persistently develops tourism business, conferences, congresses and events.
Oulu’s innovation environment, ecosystems, and think tanks create innovations in a bold and productive manner. The aim is to rapidly develop business opportunities and significantly increase start-up investments. BusinessOulu’s OuluHealth ecosystem is in charge of the Health of the Future scheme, part of the national Innovative Cities (INKA) 2014–2020 program.