Haldon Programmes

January–March 2008

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26 January–30 March 2008

Wood Works: 13 Years of the Wood Studio, Helsinki


Wood Works featured models, photographs and plans of 19 wooden buildings, ranging from a sauna to a café and was accompanied by a catalogue. All were produced over the past 13 years by students of Wood Studio from the Department of Architecture at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT).

General view of Wood Works exhibition. Photo Chris Lewis.

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In Finland, wood is an abundant natural and sustainable building resource. In the 1990s, however, it was realised that important wood-working skills had been lost and an entirely new generation of designers of timber buildings needed to be trained.

The Wood Studio at HUT was launched in 1994 with the support of the Finnish Timber Council and the City of Helsinki, the idea being to learn about wood by practical experimentation and by focusing on future needs. In 2001 the English language Wood Programme for international students was added.

The course was underpinned by a spirit of enquiry and collaboration. It started by studying trees in the forest and exploring the principles of timber architecture, using both traditional skills and the latest technology. It ended with a competition from which one wooden building, to be constructed by the group, was made.


During the visit of Pekka Heikkinen, Director of the Wood Studio, he was taken by us to visit award winning gridshell buildings at the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex and the Savill Building in Windsor Great Park, and to speak at architecture faculties in Bristol, Plymouth and Bath Spa universities. The exhibition toured to Beam, Wakefield 13 October–21 November.

Commission of outdoor stage

On 23 March, the outdoor stage – begun in the previous year – was completed. This was a collaboration between Chris Park, architect of our Project Space, and Guy Martin, designer in wood. Excavation of the site was achieved by staff and volunteers – including Gemma Richie on digger – and the canvas cover was designed and made by Albion Canvas.

Chris Park and Guy Martin completing the outdoor stage. Photo Clive Adams.

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  • 3 February: Talk/family workshop Faces of Gaia
  • 16 February: Puppet making workshop
  • 20 February: Volunteers’ evening
  • 3-6 March: Visit of Pekka Heikkinen, Director of the Wood Studio
  • 4 March: Talk by Pekka Heikkinen
  • 24 March: Casting for Ghosts in the Wood.

5-19 April

Dartington MA Arts and Ecology exhibition

This exhibition was not listed in either the winter or spring programmes, but seems to show work and presentations being made by students from Dartington College of Arts who were on the MA Arts and Ecology course. It is unclear who else is attending and would account for the large number of students in the photograph.

General view of Dartington exhibition. Photo Chris Lewis.

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April-July 2008

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