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  • Kivi Sotamaa

Combining Latest Technology with Ancient Crafsmanship

USVA is a building located in Finland, named after the fog that appears in front of it in the evenings. This project is unique because it combines old and new construction techniques. On the one hand, it relies on centuries-old European wooden construction methods and Japanese wood architecture, which have been perfected over time. On the other hand, it uses digital design and fabrication technology, such as CNC mills and other robotic cutting instruments, to produce complex wooden joints with relative ease.

The USVA project is a combination of massive cross-laminated timber elements with post and beam structures that are form-locking. The result is a contemporary building that also has elements of vernacular architecture. One of the most notable features of this building is the absence of visible nails or metal sheets, and instead, all you see are wooden joinery, creating a stunningly elegant look.

The building's exterior CLT walls, which span 400 square meters over two stories, were assembled in just two days. The CLT and post-and-beam elements were manufactured in a central Finland factory and then shipped to the site for assembly. The USVA building represents a modern interpretation of traditional wood building knowledge, combining the latest technology with ancient craftsmanship.

In the industrial era, many traditional building techniques were forgotten, as simple and mass-produced parts became the norm. However, with the advent of new technology, it is now possible to produce elegant and durable wooden structures using digital fabrication while still incorporating traditional knowledge and techniques.

The USVA project is an excellent example of how old and new techniques can be combined to create something truly unique and beautiful. This approach could lead to a renewed interest in traditional construction methods and ultimately inspire the creation of more sustainable and environmentally friendly structures.


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