Outside the UK
R4 Group (construction), Puutaito (loadbearing element manufacturing)
Nemus Futurum is Metsä Group’s new visitor centre in Southern Finland (Nemus Futurm is Latin for ‘Forest of the Future’).
On the route of the guided tour visitors arrive at Laavu, a shelter built from Metsä Wood’s products, mainly Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber). The shelter houses around 20 people at a time in a space of 17 square metres. A dry toilet named Huussi, also made of Kerto LVL and plywood, complements the rocky hilltop location.
The designer’s idea to shape the building following the growth rings of a tree, while ensuring that it blends in with its surrounding nature, posed a challenge for the load-bearing structure. The diminishing rings required six arc-shaped supports, each of them a different size. The ideal arc distance was determined in close co-operation between the architect and structural engineer.
“The brief was to use Metsä Wood’s materials, such as the ecological Kerto LVL, but otherwise I had total design freedom”, says Teija Piirto, the designer responsible for the architectural solution. “I wanted to create something that blends into the surrounding nature while creating a feeling of being protected and sheltered, like a nest. Ideally, the building should also highlight the latest construction techniques.”
The load-bearing structure was made with Kerto LVL Q-panels glued together to form 75 x 250mm arcs. The six arcs were designed so that they could be cut to shape out of larger panels in a CNC machining process with a minimum amount of material waste.
The use of Kerto LVL enabled fast, light and green construction.
Both Teija Piirto and Ville Pulkkinen say that as challenging as the design of Laavu was, it highlighted the versatility of Kerto LVL as a construction material. “This was my first project where laminated veneer lumber was machined into an unusual shape”, says Ville Pulkkinen. “Kerto LVL is an ecological and natural material for construction, and in fact, probably the only material that could be persuaded into the unique shape of the building.”