Newander’s house (“Signe Castle”)
Situated in the wooden old town of Porvoo, the house of the voluntary fire brigade is a fine example of Neo-Renaissance wood architecture. The building, completed in 1890 was built for the only working fire brigade in Porvoo at the time, Borgå Frivilliga Brandkår rf.
The building consists of the brick basement floor which has a space for the fire pump. The main hall is situated on the first floor. Today it is a popular place to arrange weddings and other parties. The tower dryer, situated on the courtyard façade is made of brick.
Porvoo’s voluntary fire brigade house was designed by architect Signe Hornborg. She was the first educated female architect in Europe. Hornborg designed fire brigade houses for free of charge to old towns of Porvoo and Hamina in 1889, when she was studying at Helsinki Polytechnical Institute and working at Kiseleff & Heikel Architects. Since the voluntary fire brigade house in Hamina has been demolished, Porvoo voluntary fire brigade house is the oldest surviving building designed by a female architect in Europe.