Finland’s tallest wooden building, clad with Steni façade panels

This building is a landmark in the Finnish university city of Joensuu. Lighthouse Joensuu has won awards for its innovative wooden construction, although the wood is not visible on the outside. Façade panels from Steni give life to the building.

Lighthouse Joensuu is an innovative wooden, high-rise building clad with Steni façade panels.

“Steni Colour panels give the façade character. We experimented with glossy and matte surfaces in white and grey shades. Although the project is a wooden construction, the contractor wanted a maintenance-free, waterproof façade. Steni was therefore a good choice,” says Finnish architect Samuli Sallinen with Arkadia Oy Arkkitehtitoimisto. He is the main architect behind Lighthouse Joenssu.

Although the project is a wooden construction, the contractor wanted a maintenance-free, waterproof façade. Steni was therefore a good choice.​ Samuli Sallinen, Arkadia Oy Arkkitehtitoimisto​

The façade is clad with Steni Colour in grey and white.

Sustainable wooden building

The assignment was to build a sustainable high-rise building in massive wood. Lighthouse Joensuu has won several prestigious awards for its use of massive wood, and this was highlighted as an important pioneer project. The project required the development of new and innovative solutions for wooden constructions. Only the first floor of the building is constructed with concrete. Apart from this, the framework construction, including the elevator shaft, is built of massive wood.

The use of wood as a construction material has significant climate advantages, and Lighthouse Joenssuu shows that this is also possible for high-rise buildings.

“We are proud that Steni was selected for such a well-planned project. “Since the panels are maintenance free and have the ability to protect wooden constructions, a more people are taking an interest in the product,” says Jan Terje Nielsen at Steni.

Steni panels and lightwork

“Steni panels were easy to mount. Being able to put them directly into our 3-D model was a huge advantage,” says Samuli Sallinen.

The different shades of grey and white gives the building more personality, and the impression is enhanced by the spectacular lightwork at Lighthouse Joensuu – designed by light artist Kari Kola. The lightwork spreads across the building like the branches of a tree, which gives it a unique expression in the dark.

This stunning lightwork is especially striking at twilight.

Student apartments with a view

The building is 50 metres high and contains 117 student apartments with a view of the lakes and the city of Joensuu, in the eastern of Finland. The first floor has a sauna facility, laundry room, technical facilities and storage unitis. The apartments vary in size from 26 to 47.5 m². Although this is a wooden apartment building, there are scarcely any wooden surfaces ion the building. Due to fire safety requirements, the interior surfaces are primarily covered by plasterboard. The entire exterior is clad with Steni panels.

Lighthouse Joensuu is a high-rise tower, providing fantastic views for the students who live there.

The photos used in this article are from Arcadia, Stora Enso and Saarikorpi.