Wooden Pilke House

Pilke House, located on the banks of river Ounasjoki in Rovaniemi, is the wooden office building. It houses the Pilke Science Centre, the Pilke Shop and office premises.

Ecological wood construction and interesting architecture

The Pilke House is located on the bank of the river Ounasjoki in Rovaniemi’s Sahanperä. It is the office building of Metsähallitus, Finnish Forest Centre and Natural Recourses Institute Finland: it employs almost 200 people, and there is the Pilke Science Centre exhibiting sustainable use of northern forests.

Metsähallitus’s decision to buy its own office building is an exception; generally, except in cases of forest log cabins and nature centres, Metsähallitus operates from rented premises. The idea was that Pilke would express the environmental policies of Metsähallitus and do justice to a construction area that is important for the cityscape. Wood was the starting point: it is closely related to the operations of Metsähallitus, but it is also a sustainable selection. Wood is the only completely renewable building material, and there is plenty of it in Finland.

The carbon emissions of Pilke, which is made of wood, are only one-third of those of a steel or concrete building of the same size. In combating climate change, the role of wood-based construction is more and more important: a wooden building is a permanent and valuable carbon sink. Pilke is an example of top expertise in ecological wood construction and a masterpiece of Finnish architecture.

See the forest for the trees at Pilke Science Centre

Pilke Science Centre, which is in Pilke’s 650 sq.m. exhibition space that is located at the basement floor and is of the height of the building, tells about sustained utilization of northern forests. The space is entered by descending, from the main lobby and by the customer service and the Pilke Shop, along oaken monumental stairs. The base of the exhibition area is covered with dark-treated block flooring. The number of 20 cm blocks used for the block floor is 130,000, and the linear length of 2×4 inch planks used is 26 km. The wall material selected for the exhibition space is the environmentally certified Stora Enso Effex ™ interior panel. Due to its moisture binding and releasing ability, wood panel contributes to the building’s indoor air quality.

The Pilke building might be regarded as the largest exhibition object of the Pilke Science Centre. As a modern, ecologically and architecturally interesting wooden building, it is an example of sustainable use of northern forests.

Pilke in figures

Floor area 4844 sq.m
Gross area 5589 sq.m
Volume 31 500 cu.m

Work areas for 135 people with customer service areas and an exhibition space of 650 sq.m.
The maximum height of the exhibition space is 20 m.
The exhibition floor has 130,000 blocks of 20 cm each adding up to a total of 26 km in length if placed end-to-end.
For the facade, 19,792 linear meters of specially planed facade planks with widths of 170 mm and 70 mm and thickness of 28 mm were used.
Pilke has 344 wooden windows and 2 metal-window walls.
There are 514 sq.m. of partition windows within the building.
The number of doors in Pilke is 252.
About 1800 sq.m of bitumen membrane was used for Pilke’s roof.