Finnish Nature Center Haltia.
Courtesy Lahdelma Mahlamäki Architects Finnish Nature Center Haltia.

The Finnish Nature Center Haltia, which opens today, is nestled within the Nuuksio National Park in Helsinki and reflects its forested surroundings with its all-wood construction. Designed by Finnish firm Lahdelma Mahlamäki Architects, the 18,000-square-meter (193,750-square-foot) visitor center features eco-friendly self-adjusting air conditioning and lighting, as well as a grass-covered roof for thermal insulation. Exhibitions in the center’s galleries focus on Finland’s diverse ecologies—from Lapland to the Finnish Archipelago—while views to nearby Lake Pitkäjärv extend the visitor experience outward.

Built from pre-fabricated, cross-laminated timbers, the Finnish Nature Center Haltia is the first all-wood public building in Finland. The Center abuts bedrock on its north side, from which geothermal heating and cooling systems draw their energy. Haltia’s rounded shape finds its origins in the metaphor of a duck laying eggs, found in a poem from Kalevala, a 22,795-verse Finnish national epic that describes the creation of the world.

For more details and images of the Finnish Nature Center Haltia, visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.

A virtual tour of the Finnish Nature Center Haltia is below: