Matti Lakkala’s thesis dispels some of the heavy legacy that restricts novel approaches to log use

Reviewed in December, the doctoral thesis of architect Matti Lakkala argues that people perceive logs to be a healthy building material and building technology thanks to the solid wood composition and easily understood concept. According to his research, these characteristics are also integral to architectural quality

Read the article in Finnish here.

Finland has more than a thousand years of tradition in log construction. Glulam logs gained popularity in the 2000s and increased the use of logs in more architecturally demanding projects, such as public buildings, instead of mere summer cottage construction. The contrast between these recent developments and the old-school legacy of logs still causes ambivalence about how the modern use of logs should develop from an architectural point of view.

In response to this challenge, Lakkala’s dissertation seeks to form an understanding of modern logs as an architectural material from the perspective of tectonics.

His interviews uncover people’s current opinions on logs, examining how logs affect the architectural experience and structure of a space, and how this relationship between the space and its building material promotes architectural quality.

The research summarises that industrial glulam, and cross-laminated non-settling logs in particular, can be viewed as more than simple logs and instead as modern solid wood construction elements. Hopefully, the understanding gained through this research can help dispel some of the heavy legacy that still restricts more novel uses of logs.