Finland is known around the world for its high-quality wood architecture. Today's Finnish wood architecture has its roots in the minds of internationally renowned Finnish architects and draws inspiration from nature. High-quality wood architecture is a significant facilitator in increasing the appreciation and market for wood construction and growing its reputation. Finnish architecture’s success story has always been associated with its close connections with nature and tradition. New industrial wood construction products, prefabrication and new wood construction materials have also increased the interest of architects in the possibilities of wood and in modern wood architecture.
Log construction has long traditions in Finland based on the suitability of the excellent raw material, the skills of the craftsmen, and log construction for the demanding Finnish climate. New industrial log materials, manufacturing technology and indoor air requirements have increased interest in log construction. Finland is the world leader in industrial log construction. It produces an increasing amount of log buildings for the Asian, Central European and Nordic markets.
Although veneer-based plywood has its origins in England 200 years ago, its industrial manufacturing is rooted in the development of the wood processing industry in Finland. The plywood industry has undergone significant structural changes over the past few decades, and as a result, smaller factories have now closed shop and plywood manufacturing in Finland is concentrated in the factories of UPM, Metsä Wood and Koskisen Oy.
Finnish sawn timber has a good reputation among end users. This reputation is based on the timber's high quality, which makes it suitable for demanding uses, and on the reliability of deliveries and customer service in the industry. The roots of the Finnish wood processing industry are in the sawmill industry, which has produced high quality sawn timber for the world market for over 150 years. Family-owned sawmill companies, whose competitiveness is based on long-standing customer relationships, flexibility and high quality end products, operate alongside the large wood processing companies.
Over the course of 2018, Puuinfo will publish a series of articles on the Finnish wood industry and wood construction. The article series by Markku Laukkanen and Mikko Viljakainen presents a variety of best practices and trends in the Finnish wood industry. Among other topics, the series will cover high quality Finnish wood and the variety of ways it can be used, exemplary construction projects and investments and success stories in the industry. A number of cutting-edge Finnish wood industry and construction leaders and companies will take their turn in the series. The aim is to spread information about best practices and solutions in the Finnish wood industry to increase its competitiveness and make Finnish expertise more widely known.
Puuinfo Oy has been awarded the right to use the Finnish Social Enterprise mark in recognition of successfully combining of commercial and social goals.
The 2017 Finnish Wood Award goes to Rest Area Niemenharju, with Studio Puisto Architects responsible for architectural design.
Metsä Wood’s Open Source Wood initiative is a call to action to architects, designers and engineers to join forces, share innovation and contribute knowledge about large-scale, modular wood construction.
Can sculptor Essi Renvall’s granddaughter become anything but an artist? ”Well, at least in my case this tradition is continuing,” Ilona Rista says with a laugh. She is known for imposing, unique spatial works of art made from wood that function as wall elements. In her spatial artwork, Rista has combined the tradition of woodworking with the new possibilities offered by information technology.
Wood has played an important role throughout the career of fifty-year-old Petri Heino, M.Sc. (For.), whose studies also include forest industry-related marketing. The small-town boy from Riihimäki realised that wood was his thing while working in the forestry department of Paloheimo Oy. Since then, his career has been multifaceted: a year on a student exchange programme in the United States, sawn timber sales, wood construction promotion at Puuinfo and Wood Focus, lobbying for the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, travelling in Europe and North America as a senior advisor, and four years in wood construction projects at the Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences. Since the first of August this year, he has held the post of Programme Director in the Ministry of the Environment.