Pilke’s facade has several looks

Dark-treated spruce was chosen as the exterior surface material for Pilke’s facade. It was decided not to use opaque paints which would have covered the grain of wood, and the wood’s surface texture was thus left visible. Window jambs are green in line with the colours of Metsähallitus. The colour of the building varies depending on viewing angle. Pilke undergoes a slight change when viewed from different angles and reveals some details when approached. The colours of the facade give tips about the colour world in the interior.

Windows form a vertical, rhythmic element on the exterior face. Also, window frames are made of wood. A glass ornamentation printed at the bottom of the window is an interesting detail, which also is revealed only when the building is examined in close quarters.

From the street to the spacious interior

Pilke’s main entrance is on the side of Ounasjoentie, by the sharp corner of the building. To enter the building, one goes through a space arrangement which consists of a low canopy and an air-lock vestibule entrance. This opens to a lobby area which is of the entire height of the building, first upward and then down to the exhibition space. The canopy and the vestibule function as a transitional space from the street to the building and, being lower space elements, emphasize the lobby’s ample proportions.

Space, natural light and sense of space are the key elements of Pilke House. The burly design, emphasizing broad features, gives the priority to space as a whole. Split, cut and stack, in short.

River view from each room

The facade towards River Ounasjoki has windows of the height of the whole building. They bring the landscape before the eyes immediately when stepping inside. Next to a large window area there is a staff cafeteria, some parts of which are three storeys high. In the architectural plan, the view to Lainas, at the junction of Ounasjoki and Kemijoki rivers, was an important starting point. The main idea was to place all the offices in such a way that they would have a view outside. The glass walls of the rooms let natural light flow through the building, allowing river views to be seen from the office rooms, the windows of which face away from the river.

Pilke is a space within space

Instead of open-plan offices, what Pilke required were office rooms which could be easily resized with the help of a solution based on adaptable partitioning. The office rooms encircle two large lobby areas. They are connected with an open corridor, which allows a visual and auditory access to be maintained also between the floors. The rails of the corridors are made of oak and green-tinted glass.

Thanks to the corridors and the alteration between low and high space, Pilke has many spaces within a single space. The idea of urban space is thus realized as a space that allows one both to participate as well as to remain as an observer. Pilke is simultaneously open and closed.

Strong colours and a variety of surfaces

As hinted by the facade, green can be found in the interior: at the main lobby in the figure painted on the wall of the height of the whole building and in the stairwells. The colours and the materials of the facade are repeated on the dark lobby floor and on different wood surfaces.

Many loud colours have found their expression in Pilke: these include a variety of greens and yellows and wood surfaces of different colours. Load-bearing wooden structures are part of the interior look.

A generous use of wood makes the atmosphere of Pilke cosy and warm. The effect of wooden surfaces on the auditory environment is great. Wood “sucks” sounds and prevents echoing. Soft and fragmented wood surfaces provide a pleasant acoustic environment in the high and airy space.

Wood as a material also affects the indoor air quality and energy consumption. Wood has the ability to absorb moisture from room air and also release it back: thus wooden surfaces even out indoor air humidity and reduce indoor humidity peaks. This improves indoor air quality and reduces the need for ventilation while also decreasing energy consumption.