Traditional timber-based building methods get a fresh spin with a 118,400-square-foot complex planned for a former garrison area in Helsinki, Finland. AOR Architects won a competition to design the Tuusula High School and Community Center with their streamlined design, set to become the world’s largest timber log school. Not only do the logs give the building a feeling of solidity and gravitas, they’ll help decrease carbon emissions produced during the construction process and throughout the lifespan of the structures.
“Being an organic and breathable building material, wood also improves the quality of interior air and acoustics,” notes AOR in their description of the project.
The school will provide a new learning environment incorporating flexible, multi-functional open-plan spaces where various school subjects can overlap. Many of the basic learning spaces occupy informal, open areas of the main building’s lobby spaces rather than closed-off classrooms as “a way to create a sense of community, share resources and promote collaboration and interaction between different groups of society.”
The complex consists of five singular buildings that come together to form a whole. AOR refers to these buildings as ‘log houses’ set along interior pedestrian ‘streets’ to create the sense of a miniature city.
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