Murikka Metalworkers Federation Training Centre

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Photo: Simo Rista / MFA
  • PlaceTampere
  • Completion 1977
  • Decade1970s
  • PeriodThe rise of the welfare state
  • Year of selection2017


Murikka is architecturally a very high-quality example among the many training and course centres built in Finland in the 1970s. Like the vast majority of them, Murikka is located far from any urban centre, in the middle of a beautiful, natural landscape.

An open architectural competition for the design of the building was held in 1974. The competition brief had asked the competitors to leave as much as possible of the area in its natural state, and the buildings had to merge with their surroundings. The proposal “Murikka” [“rock”] by architects Helin and Siitonen best fulfilled these objectives.

The aim of the design was to bring together the central planning premises, the characteristics of the site, the functions and the user needs. Architecturally, the aim was to find a balance and cohesiveness by means of scale, materials and detailing.

The result is a multi-part composition: the complex is divided into sections, each with a different function and independent in terms of room layout and structure. The low pavilion-like parts together delineate a central courtyard, which in itself is an impressive part of the architecture. The landscape plan was designed by Leena Iisakkila’s office.

The detailing in the light-filled lobby at the main entrance comes together to create a total work of art of the 1970s. The dining room and opulent leisure-time facilities overlook Lake Näsijärvi. The teaching facilities are divided into four units, at the centre of which are the communal spaces, an auditorium and a library. The central part of the teaching facilities is notable for the exposed space-frame ceiling, while elsewhere there are no exposed beams in the ceiling. The accommodation is divided into four pavilions and oriented towards the virgin landscape by utilising a diagonal theme. The complex also includes a sports building with a ball-games hall, indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym.

The operations of the training centre’s client and user – the Finnish Metalworkers’ Union – are evident in the building materials and components, from the external cladding to the load-bearing structures and details. The construction is emphasised, and everything about it is indicative of the close cooperation between the structural engineers and architects. The main building, sports building and maintenance building comprise a steel column and beam structure, while the accommodation building comprises a concrete structure. The copper cassettes of the façades are based on a modular dimensioning system, and are stiffened by means of deep grooves, thus minimising their material thickness.

The turf-roof sauna by the lakeside was destroyed in a fire in 1978, but the following year a replica was built designed by architects Kari Raimoranta and Tuomo Siitonen (Katras Architects).

The wood-construction terraced housing for the staff located in the grounds had been vacated and technically it had reached the end of its lifespan, and thus it was demolished. Otherwise, Murikka is still in its original use, and following its first renovation will be reopened as a hotel.


Leena Makkonen

Helin, Pekka & Siitonen Tuomo (1977). ”Metallityöväenliiton kurssikeskus Murikka / Murikka – Finnish metal workers’ union course centre”. Arkkitehti 8/1977.
Raimoranta, Kari & Siitonen, Tuomo (1979). ”Kurssikeskus Murikan rantasauna / Murikka course centre, lakeshore sauna”. Arkkitehti 1/1979.
Standertskjöld, Elina (2011). Arkkitehtuurin vuosikymmenet 1960–1980. Helsinki: Suomen rakennustaiteen museo, Rakennustieto Oy.