Log is the natural choice for building material in the densely forested municipality of Pudasjärvi. Pudasjärvi showcases some of the world’s foremost modern public log buildings, along with other log houses, such as the church from 1781 and a wide variety of traditional and modern private houses for both permanent and holiday use. The town is home also to the world’s biggest log house manufacturer Kontio (www.kontio.fi). Moreover, Pudasjärvi has adopted the principle to build all new public buildings from log when possible.
After having been the building material of choice in Finland until WW2, log was rediscovered in the 1960’s as a natural and relaxing material for holiday homes and saunas. Nevertheless, it took yet another 20 years until the first Finnish log family home collection saw daylight. The next and considerably larger scale log installation was Kontio´s main office with its two storeys.
he first publicly funded large scale modern log building project was the research area Karhukunnas in Pudasjärvi with its office buildings and family homes completed between 2009-2012. At the same time, indoor quality problems of schools and other public buildings of various materials had proved out to be impossible to resolve by repeated repairs – a situation all too common in Finnish municipalities. New solutions were needed.
The solid log buildings had good indoor air quality, they were warm and the users found them pleasant and invigorating. Importantly,
it is relatively simple to maintain the solid single material log structures healthy compared to buildings with complicated techniques prone to malfunction.
The development of log building techniques and know how has made non insulated log suitable also for large scale public edifices. First to be completed in Pudasjärvi was the children’s day care center Pikku-Paavali 2013. It proved out to be the biggest in the world of its kind. So did the next one, the Log Campus (2016), and also Log Mansion, the care home for the elderly, finished in November 2016. There are also rental apartments from log, and a plan to build a multifunctional hall for sports and culture from log. Pudasjärvi can proudly call itself a log capital!