Built in 1927 by the famous Finnish architect J.S. Sirén, the Intiö water tower is close to 90 years old. Its main function was that of a water tower. However, its beautiful facade, elaborate railings, and 360° balcony clearly show that the tower was also meant as a lookout tower and a landscape landmark. It worked as a water tower until 1969 when the Puolivälinkangas water tower began to operate.
In times of war the tower was also used as an air surveillance spot by the army. In times of peace there was a kiosk at the bottom for snacks and a small fee to visit the balcony. The tower has seen tired soldiers, romantic dates, playful teenagers, and thoughtful visitors. Unfortunately, it was closed to the public a long time ago. The inside of it has been a mystery to most, even though its outside has been a constant fixture of the city’s landscape.
The tower offers unique possibilities for construction. It is divided in three parts, each with its own charm and potential.
The bottom is an open space with a central pillar and cement beams that criss-cross towards the walls. 26m high. It feels vast and majestic with a slight echo of old times. It reminds of an old cathedral with extra high ceilings.
The water tank is a closed cement cylinder 8m high and 10m wide that used to hold 600.000L of water. Nowadays it’s (almost) empty.
The cupola starts 40m above ground. The echo inside is quite something. It has a 360° balcony that gives a fabulous view over all of Oulu. From here you can see what structures are above the horizon and thus taller than the tower: very few.