By: Jetson Green
This interesting building is actually the winning entry into the so-called Finlandia Prize for Architecture, which is organized in Finland. The building is called Puukuokka and was designed by the OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture and build out of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT).
The Puukuokka building was constructed using prefabricated modular cubical elements, or more precisely Stora´s Enso CLT Urban MultyStory concept CLTs, which are dry, adaptable, lightweight, and they arrived at the building site ready-to install. In this way they were able to achieve a uniform and high level of quality, as well as minimize building and weather-related delays. The frame of the building made of these CLTs works as both the load-bearing as well as stiffening element, while it also provides a vapor barrier and partial heat insulation.
Since the structure is made mostly of wood, the acoustics are great, and the entire building feels very cozy, which includes the hallways. The apartment units range in size from 570 to 818 square feet (53 to 76 square meters). Each unit also has either a recessed or an extended balcony.
Fire is one of the main concerns of building such large structures out of wood. However, it has been proven time and again that just because a building is made from wood, does not mean it is drastically less fireproof than it’s concrete counterparts. Pointing out the dangers of fire in wooden construction is often just the concrete industry’s way of holding onto the status quo. It appears the problem of fireproofing this high-rise was largely done by placing sprinklers throughout the building.
Using wood to build larger structures is a viable and sustainable option, though still not used very widely. So it is always nice to see buildings such as the Puukuokka being erected and getting a wider international recognition.
By: Jetson Green