The participants of the program not only design and build a real-scale object (pavilion, shelter, house, sauna, etc.) but also learn about ecology, and the technical and architectural properties of wood.
This year’s project was inspired by the current housing situation in Finland in which a lot of families, students, or asylum seekers need temporary housing. The participants of the program created a house design named Kokoon that contains pre-fabricated and transportable wooden housing modules that can be stacked into a larger configuration of living units. This allows the different configuration of a structure depending on the needs and site. All units are provided with electricity, as well as piping and plumbing systems.
Before constructing the first units the students needed to test different structures of housing unit. The façades were explored by trying different wooden cladding to emphasize the architectural and practical harmony of the façade pattern. The interiors of the modules were tested in correlation with the development of the structure and form so that the experience of the exterior and interior would come together. Getting closer to a finalized design, the participants of the program also built mock-ups of details, apertures, and segments of the building in order to test their design and structural decisions on a 1:1 scale.
Starting in March, the Wood Program Studio participants constructed three of these modular units at full scale, to form a tower that demonstrates the system of the project. The final design of Kokoon will be exhibited between the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum in Helsinki from June 12th 2016 and during all summers.
In this year’s program there are participants from Norway, Turkey, Chile, Spain, Italy, Sweden, France, Mexico, Japan, Finland, USA, the Republic of Korea, and Austria taking part and they are being tutored by the professors Pekka Heikkinen (Finland), Philip Tidwell (USA), and Willem van Bolderen (Netherlands).
In 2015 the Säie Pavilion was design by the program participants as a place where workshops or lectures can take place, as well as being a place for eating and lounging. The pavilion was originally built in the courtyard of the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki and this year the structure was moved to the main square of the city of Tuusula as a permanent object. The architecture of the pavilion recalls garden pavilions as well as gothic architecture and the dense space of the forest. In the construction twisted and bent wooden elements are used in order to create an intricate lattice-work structure and a welcoming canopy for a variety of activities. Also the pavilion has unique lighting fitted that highlights the construction during night and creates a space wherein people could interact at all times of day.
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