The Wooden Village is a competition entry submitted
by Cohlmeyer Architecture for a 600-unit housing
project in 2003. The site is a densely forested largely
unspoiled area in Myllypuro, a suburb of Helsinki,
Cohlmeyer Architecture proposed a strategy of “strands”, linear insertions that would limit negative impact on existing ecosystems and retain the continuity and connections of nature. The strands are composed of paths, roads, services and nature. Modification of the existing terrain occurs only along the strands. As the strands traverse the site, they intersect, overlap and touch - creating community focal points. Here shared services are available and communal activities take place. Parking, laundry, workshops, meeting rooms, plazas and cafés – all are found where strands come together.
Houses stand alone, or are arranged in groups of two to eight. They are grouped on opposite sides of the strands or between adjacent strands. Strand components extend into each house domain, binding the houses to the community. The houses are simple, modular enclosures. They reinterpret the paritupa and recall the traditional Finnish courtyard model. A single basic plan allows for a wide range of responses to varied site conditions and user needs.
The dwellings are constructed with post and beam frames made of standard dimensional lumber and use simple carpentry techniques, promoting sustainable forestry practices. The central service zone and office/sauna block, with their wood plank finishes and lap-jointed corners, evoke the scale and texture of traditional Finnish carpentry.