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Appropriate instead of ubiquitous use of wood

31 March 2010

Appropriate instead of ubiquitous use of wood

”Forget constructing with wood and start to satisfy the needs of the users,” was one of the messages in a seminar on wood markets organised in Rovaniemi.
The seminar was arranged to celebrate the new wooden building for Metsähallitus, the state-owned forestry company in Finland. The construction of the ‘Pilke’ building is at a stage when the frame is just about to be covered with surface elements. One of the purposes of the seminar was to show – while it still was possible – that the frame really is made of wood.
Another purpose was to break down the myths associated with wood as a construction material. The discussion was started by architect Teemu Palo from APRT Architects, who designed the Pilke building.
“I have often heard that it is troublesome to construct of wood. Personally I wish all projects were as easy as this,” Palo said.
Mr. Paavo Särkelä, who worked as construction engineer in Metsähallitus when the project was started, said that any construction project raises many issues. “You can then regard them as obstacles, or you can try to find solutions,” said Särkelä.
The site for Pilke is difficult. There is not much space on the site and the building stretches to three of its sides. There is little space for storing materials during construction.
The final result will not, however, compete with the neighbouring science centre, Arktikum. “Pilke turns the square in front of Arktikum into a place which is always warm when the sun is shining,” said Palo.