The Pro Nemus visitor centre is a showcase of engineered wood construction
Metsä Group’s new visitor centre in Äänekoski, in Central Finland, is a prime example of fast construction using wood. The 1,000 m² Pro Nemus visitor centre showcases how Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL products enable fast, light and green construction. The building combines industrially manufactured wooden elements and unique architectural solutions with detailed carpentry.
The wooden column and beam frame of the building and its prefabricated wall, floor and roof elements are made from Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) products. In the building, the wooden materials and many construction engineering details have been left visible as part of the exhibition. Metsä Wood’s wood products have also been used in various ways in the visitor centre’s interior design and visual solutions.
Prefabricated wooden elements speed up construction
The wooden frame and elements for the Pro Nemus visitor centre were supplied by a Finnish company VVR Wood. Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL products where used for the frame system and also to produce the multiple-glued columns and beams. Sweco Finland Oy was responsible for the structural engineering of the visitor centre. All of the wooden element models used in the design of the centre had been used before in apartment and hall building projects.
Pro Nemus was built in Äänekoski in just seven months. The tight schedule was the greatest challenge during the project, in which architectural details needed to be implemented with exceptional precision. Good planning and cooperation between the various parties played a major role in the implementation of the project.
“Construction using wooden elements is fast and efficient, and project management is easier when structures consisting of elements are increasingly completed at factories,” says Tero Vesanen, Managing Director of VVR. “Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL products were delivered to the element factory cut to our specification, meaning that assembling was highly efficient at our end.”
The wall elements and the special CNC machining of wood products for the building were completed by Punkaharjun Puutaito, a subcontractor of VVR. Partnerships play a key role in industrial wood construction. In a network of specialised expert companies, each company focuses on its core operations, which results in new, competitive construction solutions.
A building like the forest itself
“This building combines industrial wood construction with a high level of detailed carpentry. This is just what is best about building with wood: the material itself creates opportunities for many types of processing, which are easy to implement,” says Ulla Passoja from UKI Architects, the project architect.
The lower spaces on the ground floor have impressive suspended ceilings with Kerto LVL S-beams, and the entrance lobby has coat rack fixtures made from birch and spruce plywood. The wall surfaces with translucent black surface treatment are made from spruce plywood. The cubicle walls and sink furniture in the toilet facilities are made from Kerto LVL. The stairway walls have birch plywood panelling, with CNC-machined patterns that improve the acoustics.
The Pro Nemus visitor centre is a completely new kind of forest experience. By building an exhibition space that combines pure nature with virtual reality and experiences in conjunction with the new bioproduct mill, Metsä Group wants to lead the way and establish itself as a strong forerunner of the bio-economy.