MoCo Loco contributing editor Jaime Kopke just arrived in Finland to cover Helsinki Design Week. While the main events will be taking place over the next few days, she started off with a tour of the WISA Wooden Design Hotel in Helsinki's harbor. The building is the result of a 24-hour competition organized by UPM, one of Finland's leading forest product companies. The winning design, which was created by interior architecture student Pieta-Linda Auttila, was built as a temporary structure.
The building includes two box-like living areas connected by a flowing open courtyard. It's a sculptural example of, "how wood can function in an urban environment," says Antti Ratia, communications manager for UPM. The flexible wooden forms, which work in harmony to provide the building's structure as well as its decoration, are made entirely from native spruce, birch and pine. The building was conceived from the idea that "a wooden block was being tossed about in the sea and cracked on the rocks, leaving the middle open," explains Ratia. While a few lucky visitors will get to stay at the temporary hotel, it will close at the end of September.