Pudasjärvi Log Campus is the world’s largest wooden structure

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Birdseye view.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Birdseye view. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

Pudasjärvi – Finnish Log Capital

Pudasjärvi is a little town with just over 8 thousand inhabitants, situated in Northern Finland. Despite its small size, it bears the title of the Log Capital of Finland. In 2016, Pudasjärvi Log Campus was built here, becoming the largest wooden structure in the world!

In 2016, Pudasjärvi Log Campus was built here, becoming the largest wooden structure in the world!

Pudasjärvi is surrounded by the vast forests. Nordic Pine, primary log house construction material, grows in abundance here. Pudasjärvi is also the home for the World’s largest log house factory, Kontiotuote. Every year, it produces several thousands of log houses both for domestic and international markets. It is no wonder that the traditions of log house construction are very well cherished and its benefits are very well understood in Pudasjärvi!

Kontio log house factory in Pudasjärvi is the biggest in the world
Kontio log house factory in Pudasjärvi is the biggest in the world.

This little city, however, had a problem. Several of its schools were infected with mold, resulting in poor indoor air and causing discomfort for the students. The solution was found close, from the pristine pine forests! Wood is the natural choice against the mold as it purifies and energises the indoor air. So local government decided to build a new campus out of timber on the bank of Iijoki river.

Largest timber building in the world

Construction began in 2014 and in Autumn 2016 Pudasjärvi Log Campus opened for public.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Main entrance.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Main entrance. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The project was designed by Architect Bureau Lukkaroinen Oy, and carried out as a joint cooperation between the Kontiotuote factory who supplied the timber components, and contractor Lemminkäinen. The latter will also be responsible for the upkeep of the building for the next 25 years.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Second floor of the lobby.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Second floor of the lobby. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

With a total floor area of 9,700 m2, Pudasjärvi Log Campus is officially the largest wooden building in the world! To build this enormous structure, 28 km of log beams were used. The campus is comprised out of 4 interconnected log sections in a setting of 2 wings. One of the sections has a reinforced concrete frame, as it also serves as a civil defence shelter and houses kitchen facilities.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus is situated by the shore of Iijoki river.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus is situated by the shore of Iijoki river. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The exterior walls of this section are cladded with timber, blending seamlessly with the rest of the structure.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Exterior view.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Exterior view. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The exterior walls are made out of 275mm log, while the partition walls are made out of 275mm,  205mm and 130mm laminated log. Some of the exterior walls are painted with cheerful colours, and the interior walls are coated with a transparent preservative.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus is built out of Nordic Pine.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus is built out of Nordic Pine. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Facts:

  • Volume: 46,572 m3
  • Floor area: 9,737 m2
  • Completed: 2016
  • Exterior walls: 275 mm log
  • Interior walls: 275 mm, 205 mm and 120 mm laminated log

Natural light and pure air

One of the particular features of the house is the presence of natural light. The main lobby of the Campus has panoramic windows on its two sides. The lobby also serves as a canteen.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Canteen.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Canteen. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The main building has two storeys with access to the offices on the second floor.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Second floor of main building.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Second floor of main building. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The roofs of the lobby areas are supported by load-bearing beams, made out of laminated log.  As the wood in the walls will contract over the years, the beams are designed to allow that.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Supporting beams.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Supporting beams. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

Adjacent to the main lobby is a sports hall, who also has wooden interior.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Sports hall.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Sports hall. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The building is very well illuminated by the natural light.  The wing sections have their own lobbies, designed to give a comfortable and playful environment for the students.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – School lobby.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – School lobby. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

Natural light enters the building through an elevated section of the roof, supported by wooden arches.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Supporting arches.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Supporting arches. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

Wood has a purifying effect on air, proved by research. The air inside the building has a gentle scent of wood and pine needles. Wooden surfaces also provides for excellent acoustics!

Inner yard as a giant playground

The building complex surrounds a sheltered, sunny yard with a view to the Iijoki river.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Yard and playground.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Yard and playground. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The yard has features several playgrounds for pupils to play.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Playground.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Playground. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

Pudasjärvi Campus has already voted as the public’s favourite in Tekla BIM Awards 2016. In Summer, it is also open for visits for a modest fee, and has already attracted thousands of visitors.

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – View from upstairs.
Pudasjärvi Log Campus – View from upstairs. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / Rovaniemi Log House.

The Campus is an excellent proof that wooden construction is a truly modern and sustainable solution! Not only for residential houses, but also for public buildings and townhouses!

Pudasjärvi Log Campus – Key Actors:

 

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