An iconic example of the new things that can be done with wood, Puukuokka ranks among the most interesting achievements in Finnish architecture of the past few years. Ingeniously integrating prefab CLT modules with wooden façade elements, the block of flats is a new landmark towering above the Kuokkala neighbourhood of Jyväskylä.
When approached from afar, the building’s scale seems imposing, yet justifiably so. Instead of ‘screaming wood’, the street-front façade is painted black, subtly inviting us to inspect its dark surface from close up. Over time the untreated larch surfaces in the courtyard will acquire an attractive grey patina. The wooden balcony modules seem as though they have been scattered randomly across the court-facing façade, some protruding, others recessed.
The interiors of the flats with recessed balconies are wrapped around the exterior space, their high glass walls and sliding doors seamlessly connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces. The block consists of three towers grouped around a sunny, semi-heated, full-height stairwell. Each flat is accessed via a walkway cutting through this ‘canyon’. The eight-storey block of flats is the first to be completed in a group of three wooden buildings.
Source: Finnish Architecture Biennial Review 2016 catalogue