Joensuu Market Hall

Joensuu’s new market hall merges the traditional appeal of a market hall with contemporary architecture, serving visitors and city residents as a marketplace, living room and place to meet up. Thanks to a change in municipal zoning, the new hall is on the market square’s eastern edge, with the restaurant terraces opening onto the square and its vibrant life.

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The interior is divided into three parts, with massive wooden pillars and arched beams separating the lofty commercial section from the glass pavilion. Restaurant facilities are on the ground floor where they are not constrained by the opening hours of the rest of the market hall. The first floor has a large, covered terrace.

Developed specifically for this project, a chessboard pattern of triangular, ribbed wooden panels decorates the interior walls. The panels are fire-treated. The ceilings are a combination of acoustic and painted wood panels. As an homage to Northern Karelian building traditions, the façades are clad with three-dimensional shingle patterns of seven vertical planks. The planks are 27 mm thick spruce and painted a deep shade of green.

Technical solutions

Assembled pillars (2 pcs, 140×450, GL30c) form the vertical structures of the glulam frames. The pillars have slots for the primary beams of the intermediate floor and roof (165×585 and 165×315, GL30c). To distribute stress more evenly across the corners, the corner joints are partially rigid. The glulam frames are attached to the foundations with two-part post anchors developed specifically for this project. Steel tension rods support the top part of the glulam frame.

Fire dimensioning of the glulam frame was done using the effective cross-sectional method (charring). With this calculation method, the steel tension rods are not needed for fire stabilisation, which in turn means that they do not need fireproofing. The post anchor screws were fastened from the inside of the assembled columns, effectively protecting them from fire.

On the shorter sides, the stiffening effect of the glulam frame’s notched corner joints stiffen the building. Screws for the joints are in two rows along the circumference of concentric circles. The inner circle pulls the joint together using large-headed, single-section screws with only a partial thread. The outer circle has double-section, full-thread screws that stiffen the joint and remain embedded in the event of a fire. The intermediate floor (coniferous plywood 24 mm) and the roof structure (CLT 130 mm) are stiffening layers of board.

On the longer sides, wall structures of plasterboard and coniferous plywood sheeting stiffen the building. Two walls are made from concrete for increased longitudinal stabilisation. To distribute loads more equally on the longitudinal stiffening wall structures, the building leverages the benefits of stick connectors and their displacement coefficients.

The exterior walls are made from pole framed elements installed between the glulam frames. The load-bearing structure of the roof consists of CLT boards, topped with thermal insulation and a ventilated roof with a bituminous covering. The intermediate floor is supported by LVL beams installed between the glulam frames.

The construction project

Work on site kicked off in September-October 2022. The area was protected with plywood fences, and the granite tiling on the market square’s old market hall grounds was dismantled and moved to the Koskikatu Street side for reuse. Foundation work was completed in November-December 2022. Meanwhile, elements for the ceiling and exterior walls were manufactured in a crane-equipped hall rented specifically for the purpose.

The contractors installed the first round of glulam frames in December 2022. Because the room needed for installation obstructed other work, the glulam frames were installed in two shifts to increase speed. A weather shelter was installed on site and dismantled in early April once the roof was in place. Storage became challenging the longer the weather shelter was in place: the shelter took up room, which made it difficult to store materials for the various ongoing work phases across the plot. A more spacious construction site would have accommodated a longer shelter, providing more storage space and elbow room. Work on the surface is currently underway, and the new market hall is scheduled to be ready in early June.

The project’s developer is Pohjois Karjalan Osuuskauppa. Contracted as a shared contract, Eleve Oy serves as the project’s main contractor. Eleve was also responsible for the construction work but subcontracted the design and installation of the wall and roof elements. HVAC equipment, electricity, automation, furniture, refrigerators, and solar panels were supplied by the customer.


Architect Kalle Ukonlinna was responsible for the architectural design of Jaakko Puro Oy as the main designer. Interior architect Jaakko Puro was responsible for the building’s commercial and strongly also architectural design and project design management. Minna Keltto was the interior design project manager and Florian Ganter was the design coordinator.

Project in brief

Joensuu Market Hall

  • Location | Joensuu
  • Purpose | Shopping centers and department stores
  • Constructor/Client | Pohjois-Karjalan Osuuskauppa
  • Valmistumisvuosi | 2023
  • Floor area | 1 057 m2
  • Total area | 1 405 m2
  • Volume | 7 533 m3
  • Architectural Design | Puroplan Jaakko Puro Oy
  • Structural design | Insinööritoimisto Kantelinen Oy
  • Palotekninen suunnittelu | Jensen Hughes Finland
  • LVIA-suunnittelu | Sähkösuunnittelu Juha Eskelinen Oy
  • Electrical design | Sähkösuunnittelu Juha Eskelinen Oy
  • Interior design | Puroplan Oy
  • Muut suunnittelijat ja asiantuntijat | Vivaret Oy (Outside wall elements and CLT elements for roof), Lighting design: Puroplan Oy
  • Pääurakoitsija | Eleve Oy
  • Muut rakennusliikkeet | HVAC: ARE Oy, Electric: Karelian Sähkö, Automation: Caverion
  • Wood component supplier | Gluelam: Versowood Oy, CLT: Crosslam Oy, LVL: Metsä Wood, Plywood: UPM Plywood, Exterior cladding: Jukola Industries Oy
  • Photographs | Leevi Tuunainen
  • Text | Arto Haaranen, Insinööritoimisto Kantelinen Oy ja Tommi Heikkinen Eleve Oy