Straw By Tommi Junnola, Joni Kopra, Oskar Suomalainen &​ Niklas Turunen


​By Tommi Junnola, Joni Kopra, Oskar Suomalainen &​ Niklas Turunen​


Straw is the ultimatum of parasite building. It’s goal is to materialize new ways of living in places of high cultural significance and diversity profiting from the existing spatial experiences and creating new ones above the old. The straw’s concept itself isn’t unique, but it seeks new solutions to counter the challenges of urban densification, areal differentiation and expansion of socio-economical rift between citizens.

Its solution lies in a series of modular homes that are installed on ready standing buildings in numbers and forms uniquely suitable for each building site. These modules allow sustainable and comfortable living in an urban social atmosphere with the reasonable costs of LVL based structures and ecologically superior building materials consisting almost solely of wood. The featured Kottbusser Tor proposal in Kreuzberg, Berlin also recommends the use of green roofs combined with the structure, which is part of Straws plan to help absorb and purge air pollution.

The Straw’s framework itself strongly depends on the Kerto LVL’s capabilities combining its strengths in long span outdoor structures and the latitude of each home module’s interior. Every module is a self sustainable unit equipped with the capacity to be piled on top of each other. So the modules may establish various outer forms given the spatial and load-bearing requirements of diverse building sites. As well as the arrangements of modules can the insides of each module be redesigned to serve different uses and tastes. This is feasible because the structural load is laid on the modules’ outer walls.

Next to the chosen amount of home modules is fitted a simple system of semi covered corridors and yards that are only designed to keep away the direct wind and rain. This walking bridge based corridor system ensures privacy for living, but is also lightweight and cost efficient compared to a heated and insulated corridor. Joined together, the piled modules and corridors form the base of the plan - the living clusters. 

The corridors lead to the main stairways of the existing building, around which is formed the center of amenities for each pair of clusters. This section introduces the building’s central waste management, storage, laundry, gym and communal facilities. These spaces are arranged around a roof garden in the merging point of all movement in and around the clusters to maximize the section’s social potential as a meeting spot for all its residents.

The straw’s functional spine is designed to offer its inhabitants a platform of communal unity and urban stress recovery, while the modules themselves deliver apt amount of privacy and feeling of urban life in newly introduced heights. The Straw’s speciality lies in it’s light structure that can be applied in different sites with the same achieveable goals, applying the freshest innovations in the art of wood construction. It is a concept that bends, but doesn’t break due to the requirements of necessity and comfort.​​

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs