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Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2006

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Talo Kekkapaa

Designing an office cum residential unit, Finish firm POOK Architects' Office Ltd skillfully crafts the humble plywood into spaces that respond to the quiet and the magnificence of the Nordic forest.

By: POOK Architects' Office

Architecture-Page | Talo Kekkapaa (Wood in Rock) by POOK Architects' Office Ltd
The building set amidst its natural surround. The private residential space on the northern side of the building is seen here.

Project Details

  • Project Name: Talo Kekkapaa (Wood In Rock)
  • Project Type: Mixed use -- office + single family house
  • Principal Designer: POOK Architects' Office Ltd
  • Design Team: Ms Katariina Rautiala, Mr. Pentti Raiski
  • Civil engineers: Ms Virpi Ranta, Ms Mari Heino, Mr Hannu Hirsi, Mr Risto Makipuro
  • Location of site: Espoo, Finland
  • Site Area: 4,300 m2
  • Date of completion of project: June 2006
  • Built-up Area: Approximately 400 m2
  • Design Program: Single main residential building, an office building with sauna and storage, and a workshop building.

Architecture-Page | Talo Kekkapaa (Wood in Rock) by POOK Architects' Office Ltd
View of the living area and kitchen on the upper floor.

The Building

Located in the historic rural areas of northern Finland, amidst old farm buildings and open fields with rocky forest islands, the Talo Kekkapaa was designed in harmony with the existing scale of its surroundings using a contemporary palette.

Architecture-Page | Talo Kekkapaa (Wood in Rock) by POOK Architects' Office Ltd
View of the living area on the ground floor conceived in a contemporary material and colour palette.

The design combines housing, work and childcare into a rhythm of functions which are appropriately linked and buffered throughout the building. This rhythm is largely set by the site which consists of two distinct zones and emerges as a predominant influence in the design.

Architecture-Page | Talo Kekkapaa (Wood in Rock) by POOK Architects' Office Ltd
Wood is skillfully crafted to create a building that gently sets itself into its context.

The meditative back side with lichen-moss-covered rocks was left untouched. The sauna building located at this end of the site was built by hand without any major machinery in order to preserve the natural surround.

Architecture-Page | Talo Kekkapaa (Wood in Rock) by POOK Architects' Office Ltd
Interior view of the office space that overlooks the forest.

The front side, on the other hand, is more active with a variety of trees and thus provides for the entrance way and children's play area. The segregated working facilities orient towards the quiet of the surrounding forest. However, the many functions and people are brought together in the contacting zone that serves for social activities such as dining and negotiation.

Architecture-Page | Talo Kekkapaa (Wood in Rock) by POOK Architects' Office Ltd
The wooden building partially inserts itself into the rock bed.

The architects wanted to keep the building envelope hygroscopic and homogenous whilst providing for a flexible plan, relating hence more to the wooden hall than the typical residential unit in structural format. This generated an innovative approach of bringing together wood and rock on site wherein the wooden building is partially inserted into the rock. This solution enables an ease of maintenance of technical installations crucial to sustainable structures. Further, inclined structural screwing was employed in the wooden connections due to the resulting nature of the main frame.

Credits

  • Text: Courtesy of the architect
  • Photographs by Antti Hahl, Courtesy of the architect
  • Compiled and edited by Mitesh Saraf

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