A piece of timber with a beautiful grey patina is split into laths which bring out the light-coloured, organic structure of the wood.
The location, on a skerry washed by the sea, gave rise to the idea of a floating block of wood dashed against the rock in a storm. The hotel has two rectangular-shaped rooms with a freeform exterior space between them. The exterior space is formed by the angle between the rooms and the difference in levels. In theory, the entire building could be made rectangular by straightening out the end walls of the rooms and bringing them up to the same level.
The maritime location provided the inspiration for experimenting with boat-building techniques for bending the wooden planks. The curved parts were made by fixing three 8-mm layers of pine board on top of each other. The inner and outer layers are unbroken, while the middle layer allows bending.
All the wood products used were standard ‘off-the-shelf ’ items from builders’ merchants. The interior finishes are in birch ply, the structure is in spruce and the elevations in top-grade pine, free from knots. The exterior is treated with a grey protective finish and the interiors are oiled.
The building interacts with its surroundings, sometimes standing out from them and sometimes dissolving into them. To my mind, what you can see on the rock is a block of wood washed up by the sea.
Project in brief
Wisa Wooden Design Hotel
- Location | Valkosaari, Helsinki
- Purpose | Hotel
- Constructor/Client | UPM Kymmene, Arkkitehti Pieta-Linda Auttila
- Architectural Design | Pieta-Linda Auttila
- Structural design | Tero Sundberg, Hannu Hirsi, TKK talonrakennustekniikka
- Contractor | MPH-rakennus
- Total area | 40 m2
- Year completed | 2009
- Photographs | Arno de la Chapelle
- Text | Pieta-Linda Auttila