Where can one go to find breathtaking landscapes, artistic scenery and people with unique character? Punkaharju, Finland is one place, and PunkAlive goes to great measures to incorporate these qualities in their new furniture line that recently debuted at Zona Tortona during the Milan Furniture Fair. We spoke with Jukka Lommi and Jukka Rissanen on the opening day of the fair and learned about how PunkAlive is getting closer to nature by combining style with sustainability.
PunkAlive utilizes wood that is collected within one hundred kilometers from the factory where their pieces are manufactured. The entire production process for their furniture line takes place within the city limits of Punkaharju. The local resources are utilized efficiently and with extreme care as Finland has extremely strict forestry regulations. The destruction of forests was prohibited in Finland by the Forest Act in 1886. This act states that within five years of harvesting wood, a new forest must be established to replace the one felled. It also states that trees must be given enough time to be “sufficiently stout” before they are felled again.
The PunkAlive collection is made out of Kerto®, a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) product manufactured by Finnforest. Known for its strength, dimensional precision and aesthetic beauty, Kerto® is a material that is commonly used by Finnish architects. PunkAlive uses the excess pieces of Kerto® sheets to create their pieces. The sawdust created by the process is utilized in the mill’s heating system, and the excess heat created from the mill process is channeled to the town’s heating system.
Speaking with Jukka and Jukka, I could see their excitement to be sharing their pieces with the rest of the world. They spoke of the wavering economy; the cost of prototyping designs can be quite high, and extremely risky. Luckily for people interested in their furnishings, PunkAlive created their pieces to be both sustainable and economical.
PunkAlive is truly a labor of love. Jumping out of “retirement” from architecture, Jukka Lommi takes this opportunity to help create pieces that are organic and fluid. Each piece is designed to reflect the natural surroundings of Finland having an almost symbiotic relationship with the landscape.