Inhabitat favorite BIG just unveiled a modern prefabricated eco village that will be constructed in the Finnish city of Kouvola. Dubbed “PUU-BO”, the flexible wooden housing project won first place in Finland’s E2 (Ecology + Economy) Timber Competition, which challenged designers to utilize wood as a sustainable construction material for large multi-story buildings
Although Finland is a leading producer and exporter of wood, most of their multi-level dwellings are made from concrete — and as we know, sustainably sourced timber has a much lower environmental footprint than cement. BIG’s PUU-BO community features an adaptable plan that allows the buildings to suit different uses ranging from residences to offices and beyond. A public park near the city’s river surrounds the model site for PUU-BO in Kouvola. The community will integrate the public park areas with private concealed gardens that follow the curve of the land and provide views of the river.
BIG’s founder Bjarke Ingels recalls the housing projects of Le Corbusier, which improved life for those living in housing projects but were very utilitarian, concrete and boxy. By contrast, BIG’s PUU-BO brings style and nature to pre-fab construction while utilizing sustainable materials.
PUU-BO will be an exceptional pre-fabricated community, meshing 8-story apartment buildings with lower town houses and parks. The project will also include playgrounds, sports fields and a sauna that will be open to all residents of Kouvola.