Wood composite benches in Olympic Stadium in Helsinki featured with Lunawood Thermowood fiber
The iconic Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Finland is in a new boom after many years of renovation. The new bench rows in the Olympic Stadium are made of wood composite in which Lunawood Thermowood fiber plays a significant role.
The new seats at the Olympic Stadium have been manufactured by Piiroinen Oy. A total of more than 36,000 benches required several truckloads of Lunawood Thermowood fiber, which is a side stream of Lunawood’s Thermowood production. Pasi Aaltonen, Deputy CEO of Piiroinen Oy, says that the wood composite of the benches contains 20 % Lunawood Thermowood fiber. “Thermowood fiber was perfect for this project, as it is domestic, ecological and sustainable and already in desired shades,” explains Aaltonen. “We have previous experience with wood composites in various furniture, but in the Olympic Stadium project, the material was developed to meet the high requirements of the project,” he continues.
The cooperation with Piiroinen Oy began on their initiative, says Maija Masalin, VP Marketing of Lunawood. “They had a clear need and fortunately we found a solution, albeit not directly from our product range, but from the by-product of our production. This is an absolutely great example of a circular economy”, rejoices Masalin. “Sustainability is in the heart of Lunawood’s story. For ten years, we have manufactured the most durable Thermowood Composite TWPC. In addition, we supply Thermowood fiber for pellet production. This Olympic Stadium project is a great indication that Thermowood fiber can be used in other applications in the future, ”Masalin highlights.
The Stadium Foundation / Olympic Stadium describes the bowl and benches as following:
“Restored bowl surrounded by audience stands becomes a clean whole
The original concrete shelter in the A section of the stand has been restored and the existing structures and details are back to what they were in the 1930s. The benches have been replaced by individual wood composite seats which constitute uniform horizontal lines as did the original benches in the Stadium stands. The curves and the back straight stands now also have rain shelter. Following the variation in light, the plastic form changes from a flowing shape in the Stadium scenery into a subtle line as time and movements change. The new shelter is not seen from the surrounding city and so the Tower remains the dominant feature in the cityscape.
The materials of the shelters and the seats are directly connected to the Stadium history. Wood was always the material of choice used in the 1950s to extend the concrete-structured Stadium, both temporarily and permanently, to reach its current appearance. Wood provides the audience stands with a tactile material and texture with minute scale. To ensure audience safety, the cover of the rain shelter is in fireproofed wood. The composition of the wood composite seats is also inflammable. The audio-visual technology required in the stands is integrated in the outer structures of the shelters and the bowl.”
(Source: https://www.stadion.fi/en/renewed-stadium/architecture, 25.9.2020)
Photo: Wellu Hämäläinen