Press Release 1.9.2017

Professor of Wood Architecture Pekka Heikkinen awarded as the Espoo Ambassador 2017

Professor Pekka Heikkinen from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture has been selected as the Espoo Ambassador 2017. Espoo Ambassador operates as a congress ambassador of Espoo in Finland and abroad. The award was presented on 24th August during the annual Espoo Ambassador event. Event was hosted by Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of the city of Espoo and Hannu Seristö, Vice President of Aalto University. Professor Heikkinen is the 9th Espoo Ambassador and the first elected from the School of Arts, Design and Architectur.

Pekka Heikkinen is considered to be Finland's leading expert in wood construction and eco-efficient building design. He has been awarded in several architectural competitions. In 2011, Heikkinen won the prestigious Schweighofer Innovation Preis with TU Munich, NTNU Trondheim and Aalto University's joint TES Energy Facade research project. Last year, the Wood Architecture Student Group Wood Program was awarded with the international World Architecture News Award.

In June 2016, Heikkinen was the lead organizer of the International Forum Wood Building Nordic conference at the Aalto University Otaniemi Campus, in Espoo. The conference, as a part of the German International Forum Holzbau concept, is the main event of wood construction in the Nordic countries. It gathered almost 400 construction industry researchers, architects, developers, authorities, and industry and trade representatives to Espoo.

"Internationally exceptional Otaniemi Campus is an attractive destination for our international guests and architectural tourists. Otaniemi has provided a venue for many domestic and international meetings, conferences and other events,” says Professor Pekka Heikkinen.

"The new West Metro will make Espoo even more accessible and the city will reach a new level as a host for events. Combining science, research and innovation with a maritime location close to nature makes Espoo a unique, international congress city,” says Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of the City of Espoo.

The city of Espoo is an important partner for Aalto University's Department of Architecture on many levels.

"We have worked in expert assignments and different working groups. Together we have created urban plans, made alternative plans for new residential areas and developed facilities and activities for early childhood education. A good example is the Nuumäki day care centre, a pilot project, where I was the project leader. Intention is to promote the use of wood in industrial construction," says Heikkinen.

Espoo Ambassador programme

Nine years ago, in 2009, the City of Espoo together with Visit Espoo launched the Espoo Ambassador programme in order to win more international conferences to Espoo. The goal is to encourage all scientists in Espoo to invite and host conferences from their own field of research expertise.

After year 2009, Espoo Ambassadors have been involved in organizing 15 international scientific conferences in Espoo. Tourism income from these international conferences in total has been almost 4 million euros.

More information

Visit Espoo: Riikka Laatikainen, Project Manager, tel. +358 43 824 6219, riikka.laatikainen@espoo.fi
Espoo Ambassador programme: www.visitespoo.fi/en/meetings/espoo-ambassador-programme/#ambassador

Photos
Photos can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7kmn23rx3b1mtsh/AADygRyvrmIDcqma3al9l2epa?dl=0
Photos (from the left): Mrs. Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor, City of Espoo, Mr. Pekka Heikkinen, Espoo Ambassador 2017, Mrs. Jaana Tuomi, CEO Espoo Marketing