Jyväskylä got a new landmark made of local logs – the sustainably built sauna restaurant, located by a lake and close to the city centre, represents interesting new architecture
“In future, Jyväskylä will be defined by Sataman Viilu. We wanted the building on the lakeshore to have a unique and impressive shape, and I think that the young architects succeeded in that, providing something new and original,” says Antti Määttä, Chairman and CEO at Osuuskauppa Keskimaa.
The log-built sauna restaurant will be opened to the public on Thursday 2 June.
Sataman Viilu is designed by Marko Simsiö and Johannes Koskela from KOAN Architecture. All the log structures are designed, delivered and built by Honkarakenne. Sataman Viilu, commissioned by Osuuskauppa Keskimaa, houses a restaurant, three public saunas and adaptable event and conference facilities.
Taking responsibility for local environment, entrepreneurship and wellbeing
“Both we and Honkarakenne are excited about doing something unique and significant here,” says Antti Määttä from Osuuskauppa Keskimaa. “Honka is not only one of the most experienced Finnish wood-construction companies but also an operator based in Central Finland, which makes it a natural partner for us.”
The trees grew in certified Finnish forests, and the logs were transported to Jyväskylä from Honkarakenne’s factory in Karstula, located less than 100 kilometres away from the site. Due to Honka’s involvement, the project was participated by local operators, such as Jyväskylä-based construction company Rakennusliike Alonen Oy as the main contractor. Viilu has been provided with the Green Key eco-label, and the restaurant utilises ingredients from local producers.
The budget for the project was over EUR 5.5 million. “Viilu is a testament to that such stylish and varied buildings can also be built within a strict budget,” says Marko Saarelainen, CEO of Honkarakenne. “This shows the future direction of sustainable construction. A sustainable and healthy log building functions as a carbon store. The material significantly reduces the climate impact during construction and use. I believe that this is also important to local residents and Viilu’s customers,” continues Saarelainen.
Honka also took part in the construction of holiday resort Kuopion Saana, opened in 2019, as well as the unique Café Birgitta located in Hernesaari, Helsinki.
Viilu is recognisable from afar
The varied architecture of the building looks different from different directions. The prominent roof forms a tip pointing towards the lake. “On the outside, the building is characterised by the dark and sculptural façade, which protects the warm-coloured interior and terrace,” describes architect Marko Simsiö. The architects designed Viilu to feature sheltered areas on the sauna terrace and by the lake pool. They also paid special attention to providing the interior with the best views of the lake and making the building blend into the surrounding landscape.
“On the lake-side walls and the exterior walls at the ends, the logs were left in their natural colour as an homage to the traditional Finnish log buildings and sauna culture. In Sataman Viilu, traditional and eco-friendly log meets modern design and functionality. We think that the building looks great and more or less what we outlined in the original architectural concept,” continues Simsiö.
Simsiö has also designed the modern, Japanese-inspired log house Honka Haiku, Honkarakenne’s site at this year’s Housing Fair held in Naantali, Finland.