Pudelma Pavilion

Turku, Finland

The Pudelma Pavilion is a collaborative project between Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the University of Oulu Department of Architecture. Students from both schools were challenged with designing, fabricating and installing a full-size wooden structure for the City of Turku as part of European Capital of Culture 2011.  Headed by Philip Anzalone, Director of Building Science and Technology and Director of the Digital Fabrication Laboratory at Columbia University GSAPP and Rainer Mahlamäki, Professor of Architecture at the University of Oulu, the workshop focused on testing wood construction by utilizing innovative digital fabrication practices along with traditional Finnish craftsmanship.

The net-like pavilion consists of 490 uniquely milled LVL pieces.  The material, Kerto-Q, is a laminated timber provided by Finnforest measuring 51mm x 200mm in cross sectional size and one-half to two meters in length.  Each mortise and tenon connection was modeled using parametric design methods, resulting in an interlocking weave to form a compressive two-way pendentive dome structure.

The first portion of the workshop took place on the campus of Columbia University in June of 2011. While in New York, students were introduced to parametric design and scripting through a series of tutorials and assignments.  At the conclusion of the intensive two-week design charette, the team had defined the initial conceptual ideas and parameters of the project.  The structure was then further refined and sized with the assistance of engineers at Aalto University.

The work continued in Kuhmo in August, where the LVL elements were milled at Woodpolis using the Hundegger K2 CNC machine.  Students then travelled to Turku for the final hands-on installation and opening reception.  The on-site construction of the pavilion took only two days to complete.

The summer workshop is based upon the belief that a vital aspect of architectural education is the study of the act of making; engaging our surroundings through critical intervention. The Pudelma Pavilion is the result of a cross-cultural exchange of ideas and craft. 

The pavilion opened to the public on the evening of Friday, August 19th, 2011 as part of the Turku European Capital of Culture 2011.  After the summer, the City of Turku decided to maintain the structure as a new public event space for local residents.

In collaboration with Eero Lunden and Markus Wikar.