From the years 1956 and 1965

When the nationally and internationally acclaimed Sarc and Sigge merged in 2024, both were venerable, multigenerational firms. This trait is rare yet vital to our company culture.

Being multigenerational demonstrates that our capacity to devise architectural plans doesn’t hinge on a singular “hero” architect. Sarc and Sigge each surpassed this notion long before their merger.

Sigge traces its roots to 1956 when Sigvard “Sigge” Eklund, an architect’s son, followed in his father’s footsteps by opening his architectural firm with his wife, Eeva-Kaarina.

In 1970, Antti Mäki joined Sigge, followed by Sigvard’s son, Kim Eklund, in the early ’80s. By the late ’80s, Antti’s son, Pekka Mäki, also joined Sigge as a summer intern.

Pekka Mäki, along with Rauno Lehtinen and Toni Peltola, won the design competition for the Finnish Embassy in Berlin during his studies. This project, hailed as the world’s best building in 2001, partly accounts for Sarc + Sigge’s international clientele. Pekka Mäki’s firm, VIIVA Architecture, merged with Sigge in 2002, making him a partner and CEO, a role he has since held.

Sarc’s journey began in 1965 with architect Jan Söderlund. Thirty years later, he and the young architect Antti-Matti Siikala clinched the design competition for the monumental Sanomatalo project. Completed in 1999, Sanomatalo became Helsinki’s first glass building.

Sarlotta Narjus and Antti-Matti Siikala’s first-place entry for the Hannover World Exhibition Pavilion in 1998 marked a pivotal moment, leading to the establishment of Sarc Architects.

Jan Söderlund then opted for a strategic generational shift, transferring ownership to younger architects and rebranding the firm. The success of Sanomatalo and Hannover elevated Antti-Matti and Sarlotta to the forefront of Finnish architecture. Sarlotta also became the firm’s legal representative, making her the first and only woman to direct a major architectural office.

The firm’s momentum has only accelerated since. The New Children’s Hospital won the 2018 Finlandia Prize for Architecture, and there are numerous significant Sarc + Sigge projects in progress in Helsinki and Turku, encompassing new constructions, historic renovations, and alterations.

Today, Sarlotta Narjus, Antti-Matti Siikala, Pekka Mäki, and Rauno Lehtinen are key figures at Sarc + Sigge. Antti-Matti has also spent 17 years as a professor at Aalto University’s Department of Architecture.

As projects grew in scale and complexity, the merger in February 2024 formed Sarc + Sigge. Leading a large and multifaceted architectural team requires a wide range of expertise and an understanding from multiple perspectives, including the developer, the community, conservation authorities, the carbon footprint, and structural considerations.

With a shared culture of cooperation and problem-solving, the teams in Helsinki and Turku fit together seamlessly.