Break Sokos Hotel Koli Kylä – the use of domestic softwood as part of modern interior design

Built on the threshold of Koli National Park, Pohjois-Karjalan Osuuskauppa’s new hotel folds in among the classical styling of the buildings around it. While it welcomes visitors from near and far, the hotel particularly delights in accommodating families.

Text: Nina Ahlroos Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo and Jami Ivanof

Read the article in Finnish here.

The hotel’s clear design goal was to combine a modern Scandinavian look with the laid-back cosiness of its Northern Karelian setting. Wood, and Finnish softwood in particular, was an essential element in this mission.

As fire loads are always a challenge with extensive wood surfaces, fire-resistant board with a veneer coating was used where necessary. Where more fire control was required, the veneer was replaced with wood-patterned laminate.

Wood surfaces also provide warmth and cheer to the soaring foyer to avoid the industrial, antiseptic feel that often accompanies vast open spaces. The plywood coating on the spiral staircase, and the wooden grating and veneer-lined skylights of the crosswalks give the space a unified look.

Wood plays an essential role in the restaurant Tervaskanno, where it is showcased on the walls and ceiling and in the furniture. Wood disks cut from coniferous logs add flair to the ends of the bar, while a lamp crafted out of deadwood hangs over the scene. Recycled solid oak planks provide the front surfaces of the bar countertop and reception desk.

Visitors looking for a little exercise can take advantage of gymnastic wall bars in their rooms. This added touch is the handiwork of Northern Karelia’s own Kiilax and comes with a work surface that can be raised up out of the way when needed. Joensuu’s Joen Erikoiskaluste supplied the fixtures and some custom-made furniture for the hotel.