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RELEX Solutions relocates headquarters to Otaniemi

Jan 27, 2023 4 min

The new RELEX Solutions headquarters will be one of the largest in Espoo, creating additional space for future growth.  

Market-leading unified supply chain and retail planning platform, RELEX Solutions, is moving their company headquarters to Otaniemi, Espoo. The future headquarters will be the largest in the Otaniemi area and one of the largest in Espoo.

At approximately 11,000 sq. meters, the new office will more than double the footprint of the company’s current headquarters in Ilmala. New construction and renovations of existing buildings on the leased site will begin once legal permits are approved. The property is located within a larger, ongoing regional planning project and is located near Aalto University and the future Jokeri Light Rail.

The property is being developed by HGR Property Partners. JKMM Architects will serve as the primary designer, architect and interior architect and is one of Finland’s largest architectural firms. JKMM is best known for their work with Amos Rex, Tanssin talo, the Sörnäinen campus of the University of the Arts Helsinki, the headquarters of Kesko and OP, and the Kirkkonummi library Fyyri, which was awarded the Finlandia Prize for Architecture. RELEX aims to occupy the new facility by early 2026. 

Employee insight drives the design of the new RELEX headquarters. 

When RELEX began the process of planning their new headquarters, they sought the input of their employees together with their Workplace Concept designers from Rune&Berg. Through an internal survey, interviews, and workshops, RELEX asked their employees to weigh in on the design of their new working environment. The facility will also be designed using the latest data on office utilization and hybrid work. While the new headquarters is under construction, some ideas and concepts to come out of the internal survey and research will be piloted at the company’s current office in Ilmala, Helsinki.  

The accessibility of the site and employee commute times were the most important criteria identified through the survey. Before selecting the new site, a data analyst measured travel times to the office using employee address information and various means of transportation.  

“Our new headquarters is centrally located and will provide RELEX with a solid foundation to continue our growth trajectory,” says RELEX Chief Financial Officer Johan Haataja. “In 2022, we recruited some 700 people to our team from across the world, bringing our global number of employees to 1,800. Currently, our Finnish office is home to about 800 employees. These new facilities will enable us to continue to grow our workforce here in Finland.” 

“We didn’t want our new headquarters to be just another office building, however. It was important that this project began with the idea of offering our employees a smoother user experience that also supports our business needs and corporate culture,” continues Haataja. “Our new headquarters was truly designed with people in mind. Otaniemi can easily be reached by different means of transportation, and the building itself offers a versatile, sustainable, and comfortable environment to work in. This facility will allow our teams to work in a way that supports social encounters and includes diverse opportunities for well-being and leisure.”  

The new facility will encourage employee well-being through various facilities and activities, including a gym, a rooftop sauna, games, and entertainment. A grocery store, restaurant, and other services are also planned for the property. 

Otaniemi was selected in part for its accessible transportation, including public, pedestrian, and bicycle transport, offering charging stations for electric cars and bikes. Additionally, Otaniemi is home to a sizable student population at Aalto University and several research and development organizations.  

“We are looking forward to becoming a part of Otaniemi’s science, research and student community — we hope that the RELEX headquarters in Otaniemi will contribute to the communal nature of the area and become a natural part of Otaniemi’s vibrant urban environment,” says Haataja.  

Sustainability is at the center of the new RELEX facilities. 

RELEX is committed to sustainability and has been a carbon-neutral company since 2021. Likewise, their solution has helped customers like Kesko, S-Group, and Saarioinen to reduce emissions and waste through more efficient processes.  

To furnish their new headquarters, RELEX will, where possible, use all existing furniture and other materials from their current office and use second-hand furniture suppliers for future purchases.  

HGR Property Partners, the property developer, will also apply for the LEED Platinum and WELL Platinum certificates.  

Homecoming: RELEX was founded in Otaniemi almost 20 years ago. 

In a way, the new headquarters in Otaniemi is a return home for RELEX. The company was formed in Otaniemi in 2005, when the company’s founders Mikko Kärkkäinen, Johanna Småros, and Michael Falck worked at the Helsinki University of Technology in the same logistics research group. 

“We think it’s great that we found the best possible location for our new headquarters in Otaniemi. This is where we wrote the first lines of code — just a few steps away from our future office. The spirit of RELEX and our approach to planning this new facility continues to reflect the curiosity that led us to challenge established practices and establish RELEX,” says Mikko Kärkkäinen, CEO of RELEX.