KORE – Wood Program 2020–2021 Aalto-yliopisto

KORE is a 23 m², mobile residential building. Living quarters in the wooden house are designed around a compact core (“kore” in Finnish). The goal was to use the small space as efficiently as possible.

Around the plywood core there are all the necessary facilities for living, dining, cooking, working and washing. A pull-out ladder gives access to the loft to rest. If necessary, the spaces demanding privacy can be closed with sliding doors. Large openings and a skylight connect the interior to the exterior.

The roof (“lid”) with a LVL structure, rests on top of the CLT walls (“base”). All the technology and installations are situated in the core of the ground floor.

Read the article in Finnish here.

Technical solutions

Kore was transported and assembled in different locations three times, and installation on the finished foundation took about half an hour. Firstly, the ground floor was lifted on the foundations. The lower volume was lifted from the steel beams below the CLT base. Secondly, the roof was installed like a lid on top of the CLT base. Lifting hooks are attached to the roof element for easy portability.

Good quality spruce boards have been used for the exterior cladding. The CLT wall structure is insulated with three layers of 25-millimeter fiberboard. The structures of the core are made of birch plywood, and the ceiling is made of spruce plywood. The tabletops, railings and ladder are made of birch and the floor rallies in wet rooms are oak battens.

The construction project

Aalto University Wood Program students designed and built the building between October 2020 and August 2021. In October 2020, we started with an idea competition, and one of the proposals was selected for implementation. The idea was developed together during January and more detailed planning was carried out in February and March. Construction began in May 2021.

In addition to drawings and 3D models, several scale, and partial models, a 1:1 space model and several structural models were made during the design phase for testing. In April, detailed implementation plans were ready for parts manufacturing. The laminated veneer timber structures of the roof and some of the other wood components were machined at Aalto University’s CNC workstation. CLT wall elements were manufactured by Timberpoint in Loviisa.

The skylight was implemented according to the students’ plan by Kivijärvi Oy. The triple-glazed window element was attached directly to the frame.


Wood Program 2020-2021: Chisato Segawa, Sichen Dong, Veronika Kudriashova, Lucinda Eccles, Philip Antons, Esin Aydemir, Yiyang Li, Ata Bullent, Anastasia Luzina, Alexander Garduño, Yu Sasaki, Xiangyu Shao, Constanza Manzochi, Djoke Heyligers and Alessandra Muller.
Ohjaajat: Laura Zubillaga, Pekka Heikkinen, Philip Tidwell ja Mauri Konttila

Wood Program students manufactured the wood components and assembled the building at Aalto University’s construction workshop. The house was assembled from ready-made parts with screw fastenings so that it would be easy to maintain and repair or, if necessary, dismantled.

In May 2022, Kore House was transported in two parts (base and lid) to Raasepori, Southern Finland, where it participated in the exhibition ”Architect’s Houses” at the Fiskars Village Arts & Design Biennale. Today, Kore can be seen at Aalto University’s Otaniemi campus where it is waiting for a new owner.

Project in brief


Wood Program 2020–2021 Aalto-yliopisto
  • Location | Espoo
  • Purpose | Small apartment
  • Constructor/Client | Wood Program – Aalto-yliopisto
  • Valmistumisvuosi | 2022
  • Floor area | 27 m2
  • Total area | 26 m2
  • Volume | 95 m3
  • Architectural Design | Wood Program 2020-2021
  • Structural design | Mauri Konttila
  • Wood component supplier | Metsä Wood, Timberpoint, Laura Oy, Timberwise, Hunton, Ekovilla Oy, Rothoblaas Oy
  • Muut materiaalit | Vesikattomateriaali ja asennus: Protan Oy
    Kattoikkuna: Kivijärvi Oy
    Alapohjan teräspalkit: Terästarvike Oy
  • Photographs | Wood Program, Laura Zubillaga, Kimmo Räisänen, Veronika Kudriashova ja Alexander Garduño
  • Text | Laura Zubillaga, Pekka Heikkinen, Aalto-yliopisto