Contemporary logs from tectonic perspective. Finnish perceptions of the log as an architectural material

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa campus, lecture hall L10

Topic of the dissertation

Contemporary logs from tectonic perspective. Finnish perceptions of the log as an architectural material

Doctoral candidate

Architect (M.Sc.) Matti Lakkala

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Oulu School of Architecture

Subject of study



Associate Professor Matti Kuittinen, Aalto University


Professor Janne Pihlajaniemi, University of Oulu

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Rebirth of log building – what is contemporary logs as an architectural material?

Based on the doctoral dissertation of architect Matti Lakkala, logs are perceived as healthy material due to their understandability and solid composition. These were seen as central factors for architectonic quality as well.

The tradition of log building that spans thousands of years is well-known in Finland. The laminated log, which has become common in the 21st century, has enabled a diversification in the use of logs, extending from the construction of summer cottages to more architecturally demanding projects such as public buildings. However, the weight of history and these recent changes create uncertainty from an architectural perspective about how logs should be developed and utilized today.

As a response to this challenge, Lakkala’s dissertation forms an understanding of contemporary logs as an architectural material from the viewpoint of tectonics.

Perceptions related to log construction have been explored with interviews. Through these, the impact of logs on the architectonic space has been examined on the experiential and constructional levels, and further, how this relationship between the building material and space contributes to architectonic quality.

The conclusion of the research that non-settling logs could be viewed as not only logs, but also as contemporary construction elements of solid wood can help to shake off the cultural cargo related to architectural use of logs in novel contexts.
Last updated: 23.1.2024