Lunawood encouraged young architects to redesign the urban environment with wood architecture
The global market leader of thermally modified timber solutions Lunawood organized an international architect competition called Lunawood Urban Challenge during spring 2019. The aim was to encourage young architects and designers to renew the urban environment with Lunawood Thermowood products. The competition attracted enormous global interest and gathered 85 competition entries from around the world.
“I’m really proud of how wide international interest the competition raised. We wanted to reach out to young architects and designers all around the world and inspire them to use Finnish Thermowood as part of ecological construction in an urban context. And we really succeeded in that.” explains Maija Masalin, Marketing Director of Lunawood.
The competition attracted interest, especially in the universities teaching architecture, where most of the awarded competition entries came from. “I am very impressed by the overall quality of entries and young peoples’ professional skills”, comments Susana Carvalho, one of the four members of the jury.
The winner of Lunawood Urban Challenge is Airat Zaidullin from Russia with his work ‘Sail’. The dam, originally planned for a hydroelectric power station and later abandoned, has been transformed into a public space for the benefit of the community, with cafés, workshops and a yacht club. In ‘Sail’, Lunawood’s Thermowood products have been used as an exterior cladding, as a decking material and as a decoration around flower arrangements. “The coherence of this project is obvious in the presented drawings. The quality of the design appears in the proposed volumes, textures and construction methods. There is intelligence and study in Zaidullin’s way of transforming a “dead” urban area, into a very attractive and alive one. The versatile use of the Lunawood’s digital design tools shows talent. Lunawood Thermowood is used in a real, efficient and coherent way”, were the comments from the judges.
“Like many other architects I choose timber to embody my ideas. The value of Lunawood Thermowood is in its diverse nature. It is a traditional material that always gives people the feeling of something comfortable and familiar. At the same time, it is a contemporary structural element with excellent technical features. This concept of Lunawood materials made me excited to try to use them and to participate in the competition. No doubt I will keep on applying Lunawood Thermowood in future projects for my hometown and other places as well. I consider thermal modification technology is especially relevant for Russia due to the specific climate conditions”, Airat Zaidullin comments.
In total, the top three entries will be awarded with a prize money of a total of 8,000 € and also two honorable mentions will be given. “All five top entries are wonderful demonstrations of getting to know the technical properties of Thermowood and the aesthetics of wood architecture. And best of all, choosing the winners was not an easy task, as there were so many great entries.” Masalin says.