Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 65

the efficiency of research and development activities in wood building on the national level. Architects, in particular, are quite interested in wood building at present and construction companies are warming up to the theme, as well. There are various high-profile wood buildings already in existence – such as the downtown duo of Kamppi Chapel and Helsinki Music Centre or Finnish Nature Centre Haltia in Nuuksio, Espoo. New, exciting wood construction projects are also on the way, including the Centennial Library and Wood City, both located in Helsinki. Especially Wood City is noteworthy in this context, being – upon completion – the largest wooden quarter of its type in Finland. In this project, SRV and Stora Enso have joined forces to make Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari area a model of urban wood archi- tecture by creating an entire city quarter of wooden buildings. The partners believe that Wood City will be a masterpiece of modern wood architecture, raising Finnish know-how in this area to the highest international level. In August 2015, Helsinki City authorities gave a building permit for the “centre piece” of the project, an 8-storey wooden office building and also a neighbouring 3-storey parking facility. Reach for the Sky Still, in terms of trying to impress people with verticality, eight storeys is not much of a conversation opener. With this in mind, a Finnish supplier of wood products Metsä Wood started a project called Plan B – in order to really push the envelope on what wood can do. Plan B means, in essence, taking legendary architectural designs and figuring out how to make them out of wood. Having warmed up with the Roman Colosseum, Metsä Wood wanted to explore what it takes to build a wooden skyscraper. Perhaps the most iconic building of the modern age – the Empire State Building – was chosen for just this purpose. Architect Michael Green from MGA contributed his visionary concept planning to the project – being of the opinion that the future belongs to tall wooden buildings, Green was already more than onboard about the potential and promise of wood. House the World In fact, appearing at a TED conference a few years back, Green commented that as the earth grows our food, it will someday also Nordicum 63