The Stromberg company, Oy Stromberg AB, was founded in 1889 by Gottfrid Stromberg (1863-1938) in Helsinki, and originally made such electro-mechanical products as generators and electric motors. The company has many innovations to its credit, and was once of the first to manufacture numerical relays in the 1980s. After various mergers in the late 20th century it is now part of the ABB Group and is called ABB Stromberg Oy.
The company decided to decentralise its activities after the Winter War of 1939-40, and established a manufacturing plant in a park at Vaasa (Swedish: Vasa), the regional capital of Ostrobothnia on the west coast of Finland. The city was laid out on a new plan in the style of the French Second Empire, devised by Carl Axel Setterberg (1812-71) in 1862, a decade after much destruction had been wrought by a fire. The Stromburg Park was laid out on rising ground with broad views across the sea and now comprises more than 30 buildings, housing more than 80 companies, and employing some 3,700 people, about 2,500 of them employed directly by ABB. Some of the buildings constructed after the Second World War, including some of Europe’s most elegant bicycle sheds, were designed by the great Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976).
The park is one of the most idyllic settings for industry in Europe.