Stainless roof brings poetry to life


A design-build project undertaken by university students creates a poetically evocative monument to Finland’s national epic: The Kalevala.


Inspired use of stainless steel transfers the beauty of poetry into a lasting monument with low life-cycle costs.


Steel grade: Outokumpu Supra 316L/4404
Product form: Plate

In a unique monument on Seurasaari island in Helsinki, Finland, stainless steel roof brings lyrics to life. Echoing the mythology of The Kalevala, Finland’s national epic, the Shaman’s Haven is solidly rooted to the ground beneath a stainless steel roof that seems to float overhead, supported by nearly invisible glass.

The ship-like structure – a design-build project undertaken by students at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and Aalto University in Helsinki – is built of wood, glass and stainless steel.

The roof forms a compound curve suggestive of a cracking egg, reflecting The Kalevala’s story of the earth’s creation. Creative, expressive architecture evokes the mystery of the saga – and the use of stainless steel helps translate that mystery into form.


Delicate yet strong

In the roof of the Shaman’s Haven, exceedingly thin material is used to craft a complex shape that reflects the sea. The roof appears delicate, even fragile, but stainless steel lends it impressive strength. And because it is built of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, the roof is equipped to withstand the harsh Nordic seaside environment.

Inside the structure, stainless plays a key role as well. Reflective, bright-annealed stainless covers the ceiling, creating an ever-changing interplay of light. Stainless steel tube sections were bolted into granite to form the base of the structure, and stainless steel plate sections were used to build the roof’s support structure.


Properties lend versatility

Stainless steel is an inspired choice for architectural projects with demanding structural solutions and complex forms. Excellent strength, corrosion resistance and formability work together, to create innovative structures with low life-cycle costs.

Most of the Shaman’s Haven’s stainless elements were prefabricated. The roof and ceiling are formed of bright-annealed Outokumpu Supra 316L/4404. Plates were water jet cut at Outokumpu’s Plate Service Center in Jyväskylä, Finland.

Recommended products and insights

How to build a bridge that saves a fortune

Our expert Andy Backhouse explains how the right grade of stainless steel can create a structure that resists corrosion and minimizes maintenance needs over a typical bridge lifetime.


Building façade material selection is critically important. The material must be visually appealing, low maintenance and impervious to weather and pollution.


The Supra range contains stainless steel products designed for highly corrosive environments. Outokumpu Supra range stainless steels have a good resistance to uniform corrosion in many organic and inorganic chemicals. The addition of molybdenum enhances the alloy’s corrosion resistance in many acidic environments.

Hot rolled stainless steel coil, strip and plate

Offering exceptional versatility, Outokumpu hot rolled coil, strip and plate are used in virtually all industries and markets. In addition to plates, Outokumpu produces quarto plate that is available in thicknesses up to 130 mm. 

Jyväskylä, Finland

Working as a trusted business partner with our customers, Outokumpu’s Jyväskylä Plate Service Center specializes in completely customized solutions. Products are manufactured and packed to exacting customer specifications.


Stainless steel is a superb material for sustainable solutions as it is 100% recyclable, efficient and long-lasting. Our vision is to become the customers’ first choice in sustainable stainless steel.

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