Puukuokka is the first eight-story heigh wooden apartment building in Finland. Developed in collaboration with Lakea, it is an energy-efficient trio of multi-story wood-framed flats in the Jyväskylä suburb of Kuokkala, neighbouring the Kuokkala church also designed by OOPEAA.
The Puukuokka apartment complex is comprised of three 6-8 story buildings. The first building in the Puukuokka complex is now complete and the other two buildings will be built over the next two years. The complex offers 150 flats with a combined floor area of approx. 10,000 m2. The buildings are composed of prefabricated cubical modules made of cross laminated timber (CLT) utilizing the Urban MultiStory concept developed by Stora Enso. Planned in collaboration with the Jyväskylä City Planning Department, the project will visually enhance the townscape while offering affordable, eco-efficient housing that is easily adaptable to changing needs over time.
Puukuokka is constructed with prefabricated modules that are fully prepared and finished in controlled indoor conditions. They are then brought to the construction site ready to be simply plugged in much like building a structure out of Lego pieces. Even the façade is made using prefabricated and finished elements that are installed on site in phases corresponding to the progress of the installation of the modular elements. This makes it possible to achieve a higher quality in the end result than would be possible in a traditional construction process. The central hallway is the only part of the building that is constructed on site. This cuts the construction time on site down to six months, a very valuable advantage in the northern climate conditions in Finland. The use of modular prefabricated elements ensures a uniform high standard of quality and minimizes delays and other weather-related problems during the construction process. On the courtyard side, the façade made of larch wood has been left untreated. On the side facing the street, spruce has been used and it has been treated with a coat of dark paint. On the courtyard side the façade is animated with extruding balconies while the majority of the balconies are recessed and provided with sliding glass doors covering the entire length and height of the interior wall and opening up vistas into the surrounding landscape.
A sense of openness and wealth of light is present also in the shared hallways of the apartment building. They are more spacious than usual and offer a rhythmically arranged series of views opening out to the landscape of forest and hills around. The plan of the apartments is efficiently arranged and the presence of wood in the interior surfaces adds an element of warmth and quality to the living spaces. The building is characterized by an overall fine quality of the wooden surfaces and by carefully thought out, yet straightforward detailing.
Each apartment is composed of two modules, one housing the living room, the balcony and the bedroom, the other housing the bathroom, the kitchen and the foyer area. Puukuokka also pilots a low-cost, low-risk financing model for home-buyers.
The building has been awarded the 2015 Finlandia Prize for Architecture.
2015 Finlandia Prize for Architechture
High efficient façade
Low-emitting materials and finishes
Sustainable sourced timber
Smart design (passive design strategies)
Puukuokka explores the potential of modular prefabricated CLT (cross laminated timber) construction to meet the goal of providing high quality, environmentally responsible and affordable housing. Commissioned and built by Lakea, it is an energy-efficient and ecological trio of multi-story wood-framed apartment buildings in the Jyväskylä suburb of Kuokkala.
The entire load bearing structure and frame is made of massive wood and composed of prefabricated volumetric CLT modules. Also the facade elements that are prepared separately and brought to site ready for assembly are entirely of wood. Spruce has been used in the facades facing the street, and untreated larch had been used in the interior courtyard side. The spruce has been treated with a coat of dark paint and the larch in the interior courtyard will turn silvery grey over time. The town plan created in collaboration with the City of Jyväskylä has been tailored to meet the needs of the building complex. Puukuokka pilots an innovative lease-to-own financing strategy that aims to support social sustainability by promoting stable communities.
The prefabricated modules are made of spruce. Each apartment is composed of two modules, one housing the living room, the balcony and the bedroom, the other housing the bathroom, the kitchen and the foyer area. The use of prefabricated modules made it possible to cut the construction time on site down to six months and to reduce the exposure to weather conditions. That made it possible to achieve a higher quality in the end result. Working with CLT also made it possible to create a building with a primary load bearing structure and frame fully made of wood. The CLT modules are prefabricated in a local factory in Hartola less than two hours away from the site of Puukuokka.
Timber construction demands precise calculations and research, which is why we chose to make quite comprehensive and versatile use of building information modelling (BIM). With BIM, we were able to enhance the designing process as well as the cooperation between the various parties.
Puukuokka holds its own in terms of carbon footprint comparisons, living comfort and its degree of domestic origin. Puukuokka utilises renewable energy sources, and the construction project is deemed a passive energy project in accordance with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd definition. A modern timber multi-story is safe and fire-resistant.
The modular system enjoys the environmental benefits of cross-laminated timber that include low levels of embodied carbon and a reduction in site waste. When harvested responsibly, wood is the only carbon-neutral building material that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and actually sequester carbon for the life of the building.
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