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 who at the time worked at the architectural firm Kiseleff & Heikel. She was the first educated female architect in Europe. In 1889, while she was studying at Helsinki Polytechnical Institute, Hornborg designed fire brigade houses free of charge to the old towns of Porvoo and Hamina. Since the voluntary fire brigade house in Hamina has been demolished, the Porvoo voluntary fire brigade house is the oldest surviving building designed by a female architect in Europe.