Helsinki: WISA Wooden Design Hotel by Pieta-Linda Auttila

The birch wood structure shaped by the currents of the sea

by Malcolm Clark
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WISA Wooden Design Hotel is the intricate project carried out in Helsinki by designer Pieta-Linda Auttila after winning a competition organized by the Finnish company UPM.

I got the idea of a brisk geometrical object consisting an organic form when I was eating toffee caramels. Rectangular petrified surface breaks while biting and reveals its soft, supple interior.”

The project is located on the small island of Valkosaari to the north of the port of Helsinki. The presence of the sea represented a key element in drawing up the the concept: “A sea washed islet brought a picture in my mind of a driftwood hurled onto crag by storm.”

The “marine” location and the Finnish designer's penchant for wooden beams, inspired her to model the structure with the same construction technique as for a boat.

The interior is made of plywood birch panels, while the structure is made of spruce. Pine wood was used for the exterior coating characterised by shades of dark grey. The exterior is finished with a special protective treatment, while the colour comes partially from the colour of the wood and partially from applying natural oils.

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    WISA Wooden Design Hotel 74

    WISA Wooden Design Hotel

    Helsinki / Finland / 2009