Taaborinvuori is a museum and cultural area on the Palojoki river in Nurmijärvi, and the home of the Taabor summer theatre. This summer, a new café and sound control booth were opened adjacent to the theatre to better serve the large number of visitors to local cultural events. The building is an example of expert carpentry and will blend into its historic surroundings as it turns a distinguished grey over years. The “Puolmatkan krouvi”, named after a location in the play “Nummisuutarit” by Aleksis Kivi, is a warm and inviting café that comes alive as the large sliding doors open to reveal its colourful interior.
The walk up to Taaborinvuori leads visitors to the cultural heritage of Aleksis Kivi’s time. The grey shades of wooden buildings collected from all over Nurmijärvi peek out among the ancient pine forest. At the centre of the area lies a summer theatre stage with partially covered seating on wooden benches for audiences up to 700. A building stands behind the benches, its yellowish facade distinguishing it from the rest. It too will gradually acquire a distinguished grey patina, its youth revealed only by the colourful interior.
Puolmatkan krouvi is a new building complex with a café and a sound control booth built to serve the Taabor summer theatre. The design aimed to create a building that would withstand the test of time and wear from many visitors while respecting the traditional buildings and construction styles of the area. For example, the dimensions and roof shapes of the new buildings have been chosen to conform to existing buildings. The facade is Siberian larch, which, in its untreated state, will gray like the surrounding buildings within a few years.
A partially covered terrace lies between the two buildings in the complex. The terrace overlooks the surrounding forest landscape and resembles a framed landscape painting from where the audience sits. During events and intermissions, visitors can enjoy the evening sun on the stairs that spread through the woods and allow visitors to descend into the surrounding terrain.
The seasonal use of the complex posed its own design challenges. The café will only be open during the summer months, but there may be as many as several hundred people on the premises at any given moment. During the winter, the building needs to be completely sealed and protected from the elements. The solution uses large sliding doors, which when opened up, expand the café onto the summer terrace. They can be closed completely at the end of the day or during the winter, leaving the sound control booth in the company of a simple wooden building.
Inside, the cafe is a vibrant yellow from floor to ceiling. The colour theme continues on the underside of the canopy, which is covered with the same yellow coloured acoustic wood-magnesite panels as the indoor ceiling. A custom-made food serving line made from yellow recycled plastic completes the understated look.
Wood has been used in many ways throughout the project, from the support frame to the wood fibre insulation. The building respects tradition and a sense of timelessness all the way down to design details. Careful detailing and skilful carpentry give the building a polished look that allows it to blend into its surroundings.
Project in brief
“Puolmatkan krouvi” – The Taaborinvuori summer café and sound control booth
- Location | Palojoki, Nurmijärvi
- Purpose | Café and sound control booth
- Constructor/Client | Nurmijärven kunta
- Architectural Design | Arkkitehdit LSV Oy
- Structural design | Insinööritoimisto Kimmo Kaitila Oy
- Contractor | Ramin Rakennus Oy
- Interior design | Arkkitehdit LSV Oy
- Electrical design | Sweco Talotekniikka Oy
- HVAC design | Insinööritoimisto Leo Maaskola Oy
- Floor area | 44 m2
- Year completed | 2019
- Photographs | Martin Sommerschield
- Text | Eeva Korhonen and Krista Kailajärvi