Kontioranta is showing everyone how versatile wood construction and nature tourism can be with its innovative Puulaakso – Wood Valley. The municipality of Kontiolahti is signing a letter of intent on developing the Kontioranta Tourism Area with a group of local entrepreneurs who specialise in wood construction and nature tourism. This will kick off construction of the innovative Wood Valley.
A municipal zoning plan is already in place, and the area will be built in stages. Wood Valley aims to have 500 tourist bed-places by 2030, supported by a significant number of service providers in the well-being and activities industries.
The largest individual construction projects include a wooden spa with saunas where the army canteen used to be, an event centre, and a wooden hotel on the shoreline. Once the project is complete, the services in the area will employ about 30 to 60 professionals, depending on the season.
The Puulaakson ystävät ry association is responsible for planning and building the recreation venues. In turn, the Puulaakso Kontioranta Oy company will handle increasing the area’s bed-place capacity and constructing the holiday villages.
– The Kontioranta area is unrivalled in its location, history, and natural surroundings. We want to create a unique place where friends and friends-to-be will come from near and far to enjoy themselves and unwind, says Ulla-Maaria Koivula Engeström incoming chair of Puulaakson ystävät ry.
The architecture for Wood Valley’s first construction sites draw inspiration from boulders left behind by ice age glaciers and the fortifications of the Salpalinja. From the ice cream stand on the red sandy beach and the fishing hut in Ristilahti, both resembling large lakeside stones, to the sculpted cottages in Lohkarekylä overlooking Lake Höytiäinen, these new buildings nestle into the Wood Valley landscape. Carbon footprints have been kept as low as possible, and each building can be relocated easily if needed.
Read the article in Finnish: Kontiorantaan rakentuu puurakentamisen ja luontomatkailun kokonaisuus