‘Palttina’ is the place where the inhabitants of Kauklahti congregate. It houses a children’s daycare centre and assembly rooms where people meet. In the same way as older village halls, the hall was constructed as a simple vernacular building. Exotic timbers were avoided and Finnish pine, spruce, birch and oak were used instead.
As the site was small, the building was designed on two storeys. The entrance canopies were absorbed into the elevations in the form of overhanging eaves, and a spacious covered terrace, which acts as an intermediate zone between inside and outside, was built all round the building.
The ventilated concrete base extends to the outer edge of the terrace which acts as an over-sized plinth lifting the timber construction and the elevations well clear of the ground.
As the building falls into Class 2 for fire protection, there are restrictions on the use of wood, so the timber structures have been made larger than necessary. This has brought out the wood, making it visible, and the over-sized columns act as room dividers which split up the space to form units that suit the scale of the children.
The roof construction extends from the interior right out to the edge of the eaves. Suspension devices were constructed between the laminated timber beams to carry technical services and acoustic treatment. The beams have been left exposed, calling for precise design and accurate construction.
The laminated timber frame also provided the inspiration for the design of the fixed furniture. The furniture, which has been fitted in between the columns, divides the frame into a smaller-scale three-dimensional grid. The plywood furniture was treated with the same translucent finish as the laminated timber frame.
The principle of the construction was “What you see is what you get,” which demands a lot of attention on site. The markings on the laminated timber columns were sanded off the varnished surface before it became clear that the wooden components really were going to remain visible.
In wooden buildings there are many details that require careful design, but in return this produces a complete package where the details described in the building specification can be seen at different scales and there is no need for superficial, superimposed detailing at all.
Project in brief
Palttina Village Centre
- Location | Kauklahti, Espoo
- Purpose | Meeting place for residents of Kauklahti
- Constructor/Client | Espoon tekninen keskus, talotuotanto
- Architectural Design | Molino Oy
- Structural design | Finnmap Consulting Oy
- Contractor | YIT
- Year completed | 2006
- Photographs | Kimmo Räisänen
- Text | Mikael Gylling