Pudasjärvi Wellness Centre ”Pirtti”

Wellness Centre Pirtti opened its doors in Pudasjärvi in October 2021, providing local residents with a wide range of services under one roof.

Read the article in Finnish here.

Built by the city of Pudasjärvi, Wellness Centre “Pirtti” is a voluminous log building that brings together a number of city services. The building opened to the public in October 2021. In the spirit of the “pirtti” living rooms of traditional Finnish log houses, the design aimed to provide a communal living room for everyone in the municipality – serving as a “Pirtti for all”. The concept has been a roaring success, gathering the city’s healthcare centre, library, employment office, social and youth services, adult education and cultural services together under one roof. Pirtti also has a 300-seat auditorium for concerts and other events.

Around 150 people work on the Pirtti premises, and they were given a chance to make their voice heard in the planning and construction phase. For example, many features in the care department align with what the nurses wanted. Healthcare centre employees expressed concerns about the durability and the cleaning of the log surfaces, but these cares have receded as the material has become more familiar.

To better match the scale of the surroundings, the mass of this mainly two-storey building is divided into sections. The building is at its tallest on the Ouluntie street side, tapering down towards the city centre. The roof design gives the building a distinctive look and enlivens the building core with natural light. The solid log walls of the façade alternate with large glass surfaces to provide passers-by a glimpse of the building’s most public functions.

Technical solutions

For fire safety reasons, the care department with all its patient rooms is a single-storey structure separated from other functions by a firewall. Its load-bearing structure is made from log. All other sections are 2–3 storeys high, with the 3-storey section in the middle of the building mass only containing building technology. These taller sections have a hybrid structure that uses reinforced concrete columns and joint beams for stiffening and hollow-core slabs as intermediate floors. Most concrete is concealed by logs and wooden structures.

Non-settling log, which has a vertical wood lamella core, has been used to avoid the settling typical of traditional logs.

The groundwork proved challenging, as excavation of approximately 10,000 cubic metres of rock were needed on one side of the plot and extensive mass replacements on the other. The foundations are a combination of cast-in-situ concrete and prefabricated plinth elements.

The contract includes responsibility for the building for 20 years, which adds its own specificities to the mix. For example, particular attention was paid to the durability and ease of maintenance of the surface materials and structural solutions. 20 years is a long time, so careful planning early on in the project saves money in the long run with lower maintenance costs.

The construction project

Wellness Centre Pirtti was completed under a turnkey contract that includes responsibility over the building’s lifecycle. YIT Finland is responsible for the design, construction and the 20-year maintenance period.

Planning of the actual construction project began immediately in spring 2019 once the contractor was chosen. Land clearing began in July, continuing with earthworks and excavation in August once the landscaping permit had been granted.

The project received its building permit in September, which meant the foundation work and construction of the frame could start. Construction had proceeded to log installations by January 2020. The roof and the exterior wall logs were all installed by early autumn 2020. Construction of the interiors proceeded in sections from spring 2020, and the interiors were handed over to the client for furnishing in June 2021. The final project handover took place in September 2021.

Key lessons from the project: The client already had a well-thought-out project plan in the bidding phase. Procurement responsibilities and the requirements for the various functions were already clearly defined, which meant that further planning could begin quickly. Planning still required close cooperation with end user representatives to ensure that the building’s various functions and their technical solutions would be suitable.

User experiences

In the spirit of “pirtti” living rooms in traditional Finnish log houses, the Wellness Centre Pirtti has become a communal living room for everyone in the municipality. Local residents appreciate the convenience of having such a wide range of services under one roof and have praised how much easier it is now to stop by the library or to see an art exhibition while in town. Since Pirtti is such a large building with such a diverse range of services, visitors have indicated a need for improved signage and a more informative info point. The staff has found the new premises to be pleasant and practical, and the care employees in particular have appreciated having been able to participate in the design of the facilities. Now that everything is under one roof, different service providers have been able to cooperate more easily and find new operating models.


Founded in 1980, Lukkaroinen Arkkitehdit has its roots in the city of Oulu. Our design office has grown from a one-man company into a working community of around 90 skilled designers. In line with our strong values as a family business, we know our employees are our most important asset and prioritise their well-being. Lukkaroinen Arkkitehdit currently has three offices located in Oulu, Helsinki, and Turku. Creative and innovative people from multiple disciplines form our idea-rich working community of architects, interior architects, building architects and graphic design professionals, among others.

Project in brief

Pudasjärvi Wellness Centre ”Pirtti”

  • Location | Pudasjärvi
  • Purpose | Health services and cultural events
  • Constructor/Client | City of Pudasjärvi
  • Valmistumisvuosi | 2021
  • Total area | 9 349 m2
  • Volume | 52 200 m3
  • Architectural Design | Lukkaroinen Arkkitehdit Oy / Laura Sorri, Johanna Kalliainen, Heidi Kurttio, Diana Lavric, Mikko Alatarvas, Pirkko Kukkurainen, Liina Yasin, Päivi Juvonen Kilpailuvaihe: Ulla-Maija Aarnio, Merja Pesonen, Teemu Pulkkinen, Simo Rasmussen, Saana Sirola, Kristiina Heikura
  • Structural design | WSP Finland Oy
  • Akustiikkasuunnittelu | Akukon Oy
  • Palotekninen suunnittelu | Paloässät Oy
  • LVIA-suunnittelu | Plan-Air Oy
  • Electrical design | Sweco Talotekniikka Oy
  • Interior design | Lukkaroinen Arkkitehdit Oy
  • Muut suunnittelijat ja asiantuntijat | Ground survey: AFRY Finland Oy, Hospital technology consulting: Sitowise Oy, Energy and lifecycle consulting: Green Building Partners Oy
  • Pääurakoitsija | YIT Finland
  • Wood component supplier | Kontiotuote Oy
  • Photographs | Raimo Ahonen and City of Pudasjärvi
  • Text | Inkariina Sipiläinen, Lukkaroinen Arkkitehdit Oy, YIT, Pudasjärvi