Finland has come to a corner of the UK, with the opening of the Finnforest Timber Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire. Intended as a centre of excellence, the new building comprises office facilities as well as the purpose-built academy. The Timber Academy offers the customers of Finnforest the opportunity to train members of their staff in a number of timber and timber-related areas. Delegates receive an Open Collegerecognised award following successful completion of the course.
Designed by Finnish architect Vesa Arosuo, Arkkitehdit Arosuo & Vapaavuori Oy, the complex has a structure of kerto beams and columns.
Kerto has also been used for all the window frames and stair treads.
External and internal wall coverings of the academy, and the decking on the south elevation, are of ThermoWood, a recently developed and patented product that protects the timber from decay by heating it in an oxygen-free chamber. The first UK-designed project using this material will be a retail building in Cambridge by Benoy. Birch plywood has been used for all ceilings and some wall coverings. Finnforest redwood is used for flooring and wall panelling. Internal doors are ash, and the external cladding to the office is of Western Red Cedar. Furniture, from Kinnarps, is of beech and cherry veneers. This is probably the most timberintensive building in the UK - fittingly, given its function.