Composing new tunes Since the summer of 2008 Peikko has been supplying steel components for the Music Centre expected to open in the centre of Helsinki in the fall of 2011. The main constructor of the 36,000 square meters' complex is Helsinki-based property construction company SRV, which won the tender to build the centre in the summer of 2008. SRV operates in several major cities of Finland as well as in Russia and the Baltic countries. The owner of the Music Centre is the real estate company Helsinki Music Centre, whose shareholders are the State of Finland, Senate Properties, the Municipality of Helsinki and YLE national public service broadcasting company. SRV's order to Peikko consists of 1,500 running metres of Deltabeams, approximately 200 pieces of fastening columns, as well as reinforcing steel bars, hollow core slabs and some 1,000 pieces of cast components including fastening plates, anchor bolts and steel shoes to be used mainly in the common areas of the complex. Matching products for mixed frame Peikko's first deliveries to the site started in September 2008, and are due to continue until late 2009. Ari Ojala, purchasing director at SRV notes the firm decided to use Peikko's products for the construction of Music Centre because they matched best with the existing architectural plan. "After quite some research and comparison we noticed that all other solutions would pose various structural problems. We have been using Peikko's steel components in several other projects earlier so are familiar with their applicability," Ojala said. Prior to the Music Centre project, SRV has cooperated with Peikko on numerous constructions in Finland. The most recent of them to be completed is the Scadic Hotel in Vierumäki, central Finland. SRV also implemented extension and renovation works at Peikko's production plant at Lahti in 2006. Kirsi Weinreich, Purchasing Manager at SRV, notes also the complex mixed structure of the Music Centre makes the project extraordinary. The frame of the Music Centre will be completed by the end of this year. "The frame of the building is formed partly of sections cast on site, and partly of ready made steel structures and precast concrete elements. Some of the parts cast on site have a long strain gauge span and the structure of the ceiling of the concert hall is relatively high," she says. "Notable requirements have been set at the Music Centre for isolating the building from vibration and sounds from outdoors. Acoustics and sound-isolation are important issues inside the building which we are paying special attention to," she said. Ojala underlines Deltabeams and composite columns work well together with concrete. "There is no need to cover the building whilst working on it, which is important in a central location. Furthermore, they are cost-efficient and fit the existing budget," he added. The total budget for the building is 140 million euros, including the construction and design of the building. Weinreich agrees. "The initial structural plan was amended to suit Deltabeams and composite columns, the deliveries of which were started promptly with a very short notice," she said. She also notes cooperation with Peikko on the project has proceeded smoothly. "Our goal is to make the building so good for its end users that it will be the place for listening to top music. Following the agreed construction schedule and keeping to the agreed budget is challenging because the purpose of the building will be so unique," she said. Acoustic architecture Petri Kalliokoski of Peikko notes the project is of unique nature because of the acoustic requirements of the building. "What makes the Music Centre a unique project as such is not its financial value or its sheer size but also the very purpose of the building. The Music Centre and both, its frame and support structure, have to be built thoroughly sound-proof, because it will host a concert hall with seating for 1,700 people, as well as five smaller halls accommodating some 40-50 people for exercises," Kalliokoski said. "As such the building's architecture does not comply with traditional approach. Complying with the detailed acoustic requirements for the building has been a challenge for all parties involved," he added. In addition to the main concert hall and the five smaller halls, the Music Centre will consist of cafes, a shop, a restaurant, offices, and an outdoor bar. The complex is envisioned to give Helsinki an acoustically first-class concert hall and facilities for studying music. The main users of the building will be the Sibelius Academy, the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. It is estimated at least some 100 concerts will take place each year in the premises once open. According to Kalliokoski, the building's location in the city centre of Helsinki and its expected usage age also pose major challenges for its constructors. The Music Centre is being built on Mannerheimintie in the heart of the Finnish capital, right opposite the Parliament House. The site earlier hosted historical wooden warehouses of the National Railways, known as ‘VR makasiinit', which burned down in May 2006. "The central location is quite demanding in terms of logistics of the construction phase. The expected usage age of the building, which is some 200 years, makes the process even more demanding. This is no ordinary project," he said. Tailor-made products SRV's order to Peikko consists of products that are included in its traditional product range, as well as tailor-made items. "In case the needed cast component was not in the list of Peikko's traditional products, we got it tailor-made for us for a very competitive price. The delivery times were reasonable, too," Weinreich explained. "We received cast components according to the delivery schedule we set, and as express deliveries when plans changed in the last minute," she added. Peikko is delivering components to the construction site several times a week, which has served the needs at the site well. Deliveries will continue until late 2009. "SRV's original order volume has grown slightly as the project has advanced. The Music Centre is an exceptional project for us in many ways, in which our products have shown their high quality and adaptability to serve varying needs," Kalliokoski concluded.