The design of the Pikku-Paavali children’s day-care centre is based on local building history, the urban fabric and the need for healthy construction.
The client wanted a wooden building with good indoor air, which was later specified more precisely as a log-construction building. From a technical point of view, the functionality of this massive, wide-span log building was ensured by careful design and a commitment to annual maintenance.
The day-care centre, which is in the centre of Pudasjärvi, is bounded by Puistokatu and the pedestrian and cycleway running at right angles to it. The courtyard is divided into separate areas for children of different ages by wooden fences and the children’s entrances are from the courtyard.
The main entrance opens via a lobby into a lofty assembly room used for shared events, physical exercise and celebrations. The orange roof, panelled in fibreboard, looks rather like a tent.
The plan is made up of close-cut, rectangular log frames which together form a labyrinthine structure. The building contains nooks and crannies which the children can take over as exciting outposts that then become their own favourite places.
External walls and partitions on the ground floor are all in log-construction. The quiet room also has internal cladding to guarantee the necessary sound insulation. Wooden surfaces are finished with wax or with a whitish wood-protective treatment. The assembly hall and lobby are finished with white Saima hardwood flooring.
Office and auxiliary spaces on the upper floor are built into the roof construction above the top layer of logs. Circulation to the upper floor is via a stairwell clad in coniferous plywood.
Externally, the logs are treated with a translucent red finish. The solid-wood window and door frames are installed in the log construction without using cover fillets, the detail first having been tried out with a specimen installation and water-penetration tests. In terms of energy-efficiency, the log-construction building without separate insulation is in the low-energy class.
The pitched roof, clad in patterned felt, protects the building and the porches over the entrance doors. The architecture has been inspired by the brick architecture of Pudasjärvi Town Hall and the local summer cowsheds built in wood.
External walls are built of 275-mm laminated logs, while load-bearing partitions are 275 or 135 mm. The structural frame is the same height throughout. The grain runs in the same direction in all laminations in the same log. External corners arew close-cut in the Tyrolean style. Partitions are connected to the external walls using dovetail joints.
One of the problems of log construction is the differential vertical compression between external walls and partitions, which leads to differential drying and shrinkage. The log manufacture resolved the problem by using extra glu-lam beams on top of the load-bearing partitions. The beams are supported on steel tubes, which can be adjusted for height and which are housed into the load-bearing walls.
The computerised robots on the log-manufacturer’s assembly line made it possible to cut the housings needed for the steel tubes into the logs at the factory. This eliminated problems caused in the roof structure by differential shrinkage between external walls and partitions.
The walls on the upper floor are in studwork and horizontal parts of the intermediate floor are in LVL. The entrance canopy, which is made up of LVL frames, is independent of the log construction. The load-bearing roof structure consists of more than one hundred prefabricated gang-nail trusses.
Project in brief
Daycare centre Pikku-Paavali
- Location | Pudasjärvi
- Purpose | Daycare centre
- Constructor/Client | City of Pudasjärvi
- Architectural Design | Architects m3
- Structural design | Arkkitehti- ja insinööritoimisto Jussi Tervaoja Oy
- Contractor | Sonell Oy
- Volume | 5 470 m3
- Total area | 1 323 m2
- Year completed | 2013
- Photographs | Jussi Tiainen
- Text | Janne Pihlajaniemi and Jussi Tervaoja