Nature Centre Haltia in Espoo, southern Finland, is Finland’s first public building constructed from massive CLT wood elements. Located in the Nuuksio National Park, the building will host exhibitions about the natural world in different parts of Finland. Haltia represents a new type of environmentally conscious, modern Finnish architecture. All the building’s structures are made of wood apart from those below ground level.
Haltia’s architect Rainer Mahlamäki hopes that the building will give a warm and encouraging message about what Finnish nature can offer to visitors and what wood can offer as a construction material. According to Mahlamäki, there is a shortage of companies in Finland that can take on challenging projects like Haltia, and produce different kinds of wood features to special order.
Nature is visible everywhere in the building, starting from the grass growing on its roof. The surrounding landscape is also part of the architecture. Heating and cooling is produced by solar panels and geothermal heating. The building is 75% self-sufficient in energy.
“Nature is the best in itself and what we display here is the next best thing. We want to do everything to ease people into going out to enjoy nature,” says Timo Kukko, Director of the Haltia Nature Centre.
Haltia’s EUR 18 million construction project has been funded by Metsähallitus, City of Espoo and Solvallan urheiluopisto. Up to 200,000 visitors are expected to visit the building annually.