Fiskars exhibition

During the autumn term, the Wood Program designed four proposals for a wooden bridge to be located in Fiskars. The models are now part of the summer exhibition Fiskars Design Village 2012 that opened yesterday. The exhibition will be open all summer. More information can be found here.

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Overcoming challenges

The excitement of starting the building phase of Koe sauna passed quickly. We realized on Monday that one of the main joints of the sauna walls was not up to engineering standards. It had to be revised. Today we tested the new version of the joint and fortunately it worked well.

Hannu Hirsi checking by listening if the joint is working.

Today was our lucky day. The wood delivery that we have been waiting for finally arrived.

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Building phase: Day 1

Preparing for building

Meeting with Hannu Hirsi regarding the structure

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Construction starts today

Construction of Wood Program’s Koe sauna starts today.

1:1 mock-up of the side “wings”

We have set upp  jigs for the first “wings”, the skin of the sauna building that wraps around the sauna room and the terrace. The construction of the wall elements has been tested in a  mock-up.

Construction sequence illustrates
how the sauna is going to be put together.

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Design phase nearing its end

The design of the Wood Program sauna Koe is almost ready now. The construction phase is about to start and most of the design decisions are made.

Koe sauna rendering by Michal Gryko

We are still working on detailing of the interior of the sauna room, everything from smoke hatches to door handles has to be drawn and tested. Also the terrace steps are under reconsideration.

During the first part of the construction phase we will be working parallelly with the last design tasks.

Long section

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Exhibition opening at Studio Aalto

The opening of Wood Program’s exhibition Experimenting with Tradition was held at Studio Aalto on Thursday. The opening was a successful event, attracting many Aalto devotees. The exhibition will be shown at Studio Aalto until the 10th of June.

Director of Alvar Aalto foundation Susanna Pettersson welcoming everybody to the exhibition opening.

The 1:10 scale model presents the developed version of the sauna. The project has been entitled Koe; meaning test or experiment as well as experience in Finnish. The name refers to the experimental character of Aalto’s buildings on the site and the exploratory interpretation we derived from traditional savusauna.

All of the 18 design proposals by the Wood Program students are exhibited at Studio Aalto.

More about the exhibition at Alvar Aalto Foundation’s site:

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Wood Program video diary

Video clips from the year of Wood Program 2011-2012 so far. The video is part of the Experimenting with Tradition exhibition at Studio Aalto.

Video by Miika Ullakko

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Smoke sauna exhibition at Studio Aalto

Welcome to our smoke sauna exhibition opening on Thursday the 22rd!

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Standing on a frozen lake….

The need to return to the site to acquire more accurate measures and information about possible positions of the sauna led us back to the Aalto experimental house once again, but in an entirely different setting.  Curious to be back in a place which took on a completely different form in comparison to months before; to be standing in a place, impossible to walk on not long ago.

A new face emerged from the site rarely seen in the photographs of the house published in magazines and books, the famous array of red brick courtyard  encapsulated by planes of untainted white.  A greater appreciation emerged of how it must have originally required more effort to build at such a location.  It was not long until the pristine coat of snow on the site was impregnated with the footprints of the group transporting the tools and beams across the lake.

Along the  vast expanse of ice made accessible by foot by the season, we walked amoung the reeds that once belonged only to the water to arrange the beams needed to assemble the frame up the hill.  One of the main tasks on the site was to assemble a simple frame taking the outline of the sauna on possible locations in order to see its impact on the landscape.  The preparation of equipment, organisation and plans made by members of the team beforehand, enabled for an efficient day of work during the short daylight hours.  We quickly realised that construction in rough weather and terrain is never the same as building back in the workshop. We Scouted out possible sites and set up the frame on two ideal ones, being thoroughly documented through mapping, measuring and photographing.

Although the air was a crisp and cool minus 20 °c, the wind was absent and the sun took its place across the lake with gratitude shown by our photographer.  The flurry of movement between the icy plains and the wooded slopes helped keep us generally warm, with the exception of our fingers, which harboured the sensation of detachment from our body due to the knots required to thread the frame together.

We are all excited and impatient to see the sauna amoung the trees this time next year, laden with snow with smoke escaping through its hatch in the midst of winter.  As we had witnessed the late sun rising among the blocks in Jyväskylä at 9:00 in the morning we saw it disappear beneath the sheets of ice at Muuratsalo. We look forward to the summer face of Muuratsalo when we return construct our addition to the site.


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Mock-up building

To study the sauna interior we build a mock-up of the space last week.
It took us eight hours to construct it out of 2″ x 2″ timber, wind barrier board and plywood.

Time lapse by Miika Ullakko

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