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6/7/2022
What's up with the New Museum of Architecture and Design?
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4/7/2022
Future of South Harbour now open for comments
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8/6/2022
"Helsinki is ready for more" – international partner sees a ton of potential in the museum
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David van der Leer and Maria Budtz Sorensen of DVDL at the location for the future museum in Helsinki's South Harbour.
28/4/2022
Foundation for Finnish Museum of Architecture and Design established
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Foundation for Finnish Museum of Architecture and Design was established at the Helsinki City Hall.
17/3/2022
Four proposals selected for the second phase of the Makasiiniranta competition
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16/12/2021
Makasiiniranta’s international competition entries published
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Helsinki South Harbour area
10/11/2021
New visual identity gives shape to the plans of a new museum
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10/11/2021
Meet the project team
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10/11/2021
Breaking the records – interview with the chair of the steering group, Timo Laitinen
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10/11/2021
Towards a new museum – the histories of the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum on display at the Design Museum in Helsinki
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10/5/2021
Project leader Kaarina Gould: Museums can play a significant role in public discussion
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8/4/2021
Exceptional financial basis raised for new architecture and design museum - at least 24 million euros of private funding
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24/3/2021
Next steps for planning a new museum for architecture and design
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Snowy Helsinki city viewed from the top
10.11.2021
Breaking records – interview with the chair of the steering group, Timo Laitinen
A steering group of 15 experts is guiding and supporting the museum project’s progress. The steering group is chaired by Timo Laitinen, director general of the State Treasury of Finland. In his interview, Timo shares news on what has happened since the spring and what he is expecting from the year ahead.
Hi Timo, could you tell us something about yourself, who are you?
Deep down, I see myself as a servant to society. I have a long history of management positions, and, since 2008, I have worked as the director general of the State Treasury. Before joining the State Treasury in 2003 I spent 20 years with insurance company Pohjola and a few years as the managing director of consulting company Talent Partners. I’m a lawyer by training. In addition to the position of trust related to this museum project, I serve as chair of the Metsähallitus Board of Directors as well as the chair of the State’s education and development centre HAUS.

Outside my duties, I mostly spend my time in nature, providing food for my family and friends. I’m a fishing enthusiast, first and foremost, but I also enjoy foraging for wild mushrooms! The sauna is my meditation place and I swim in open waters all year round.
In spring 2021, you were invited to chair of the steering group for the new architecture and design museum project. What did you think when you were asked to accept this position?
At first, I was surprised, nearly flabbergasted. Why me? I was aware of the project, of course, but I was not up to date with its progress at the time. After mulling it over, I decided that this was an opportunity I really wanted to take. I am a curious person and interested in learning new things, and I believe the new museum will benefit the whole of society. I am not a professional of architecture or design, but I believe I can bring plenty of management experience to this project. I also believe that my knowledge of the public sector’s operating models will benefit the project.
Timo Laitinen portrait
Timo Laitinen
What has happened since spring?
On a personal level, I have gotten to know a massive number of new people, which has been especially rewarding. In addition to this, we have built a way of working between the steering group and the project team. The steering group is quite large in size and features a great deal of expertise from different fields. The steering group’s role is to help and support the project to succeed. Thinking what would be the best way to create as much added value for the project as possible, we came to the conclusion that sitting in monthly meetings would not be enough, that work is also needed outside of these. Now, the steering group has been divided into different sections focusing on the various sectors of the museum project, such as finance, construction, and the phenomena around the museum. I believe this has proven to be a good working method.
What are you expecting from the next stages of the project?
The goal and the expectation is, naturally, that in about twelve months we will have an extensive review of many of the related matters, even complex ones. This means that the next year will mainly consist of quiet review work that is not usually visible to the public. This project has a wide range of factors that need to be covered, from zoning to the operations of the new museum as well as the merger of the two current museums. So, the work mostly consists of collecting information and putting it together, and everything is actually connected to everything. There is no decision for implementing the museum yet, so now we are focusing on reviewing how and with what resources that would be possible. Our ambition level is very high; we now have an amazing opportunity that practically requires us to break some records. It is very possible, but all scenarios are still on the table.
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Timo Laitinen
Our goal level and ambitions are very high; we now have an amazing opportunity that practically requires us to break the world record.
What do architecture and design mean to you, personally?
Even though the State Treasury maintains systems that are part of all our daily lives and, thus, is a notable buyer of service design and a manager of design processes, I personally am not an expert in either of these fields and have a similar approach to them to many other Finnish consumers. I’m a practical person and I believe that if something works well, it is also good architecture and well designed. Over the last six months, my sensitivity to the subject has clearly increased, however. I read every article and listen to all the news pieces that have to do with architecture and design, which means that I keep a much closer eye on the fields than I used to. Naturally, this has brought amazing new content to my life, and I have learned a great deal.
More to read
8/6/2022
"Helsinki is ready for more" – international partner sees a ton of potential in the museum
Read article
David van der Leer and Maria Budtz Sorensen of DVDL at the location for the future museum in Helsinki's South Harbour.
10/11/2021
New visual identity gives shape to the plans of a new museum
Read article
10/11/2021
Meet the project team
Read article
10/11/2021
Breaking the records – interview with the chair of the steering group, Timo Laitinen
Read article
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