Material Focus: WISA Wooden Design Hotel

­­­­­­­­­­­The WISA Wooden Design Hotel is located on Helsinki’s Valcosaari Island. The architect Pieta-Linda Auttila was inspired by the maritime location, unearthing the structure’s form from the surrounding environment. The sea’s breezes and undulating waves gave Auttila inspiration for the design of the free flowing form.

The building core exhibits playfully billowing pine boards that open up to the elements allowing the sun to penetrate through, creating filtered lighting effects throughout the day. The light play with pine and Nordic birch create a natural luminous glow that captivates and generates curiosity. Light is captured in the morning through floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom. Changing light throughout the day generates evolving shadows and light play within the center atrium. At the other end of the structure, views through floor-to-ceiling windows project outward to the city connecting the structure directly to both its natural and urban surroundings.

The structure exhibits both traditional and innovative ways to use wood in architecture. The structural and calculated ways that wood has been used for centuries is simplistic and clean while gradually transforming into a more fluid design that captures the life of the material. The synthesis of dichotomous forms exhibited by this structure exemplifies the importance of application and the effect it can have.

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