The year long Wood Program offers two semesters of coursework up to 62 credits (ECTS). These include design studios, lectures and seminars.


The Design Studio is the core of the program. It involves analysis and exercises in the workshop as well as a 1:1 building project:
ARK-E4002      Wood Program Design Studio
ARK-E4010       Wood Program Building Project

In addition to the design studio, students follow courses which address wood technology and construction:
ARK-E4000       Wood in Architecture and Construction
ARK-E4001        Excursions in Wood Architecture
ARK-E4003       The Book of Wood
ARK-E4007        Materials, Tectonics and Aesthetics
CHEM-E0120     Introduction to Wood Products and Properties
ARK-E4008        Industrial Wood Construction

Alongside theses courses, students follow lectures and seminars in historical and contemporary architecture in Finland:
ARK-C1005       History of Finnish Architecture
ARK-C2003     Contemporary Finnish Architecture
ARK-E1007      History of Wood Architecture in Finland

Students with a previous background in wood technology may consider additional courses including:
CHEM-E2105     Wood and Wood Products
CHEM-E2200    Polymer Blends and Composites

Wood in Architecture and Construction


Teachers: Pekka Heikkinen and Visiting lecturers

Credits: 3–5 ECTS

The course consists of a series of lectures introducing wood and the many ways that it is used as a building material. Wood species, structures, products and systesm are examined from a technical, ecological and aesthetic perspective. The aim of the course is to become acquainted with the special issues of designing a wooden building and to realize the properties and possibilities of wood as a building material in the future built environment.

Key points: proficiency in wooden construction, ecological issues of wood architecture, tradition of wooden buildings, contemporary building strategies and wood techniques and aesthetics.

Excursions in Wood Architecture


Teachers: Pekka Heikkinen

Credits: 1 ECTS

Throughout the year excursions to sites of natural, industrial and historical interest are organized to introduce students to the Finnish forest, wood species, traditional wood construction, wooden towns, contemporary wood architecture, industrial production and research.

1:1 Design Excercises


Teachers: Pekka Heikkinen and Willem van Bolderen

Credits: 10 ECTS

This studio course forms the core of the year’s studies for Wood Program students. It focuses on the characteristics and use of wood as a modern building material with an emphasis on models and scale mock-ups.

The Book of Wood


Teachers: Varies

Credits: 2 ECTS

At the close of the term, each student submits a personal portfolio documenting their experience over the year.

Wood Program Building Project


Teachers: Pekka Heikkinen and Willem van Bolderen

Credits: 5–15 ECTS

In the autumn, students complete several design exercises at full scale. First individually and then in small groups, these tasks introduce different wood materials and wood construction techniques. The semester concludes with a design competition in which each student makes an individual proposal for a small wooden building. In the spring term, students realize an experimental building at one-to-one scale.

Materials, Tectonics and Aesthetics


Teachers: Philip Tidwell

Credits: 5 ECTS

This course provides an overview of building not only as a technical and practical endeavor, but also as a subject of theoretical inquiry—a particular manner of thinking and working. Lectures are organized thematically, surveying work from a range of historical periods and contemporary practice. Using readings and analysis of selected texts and buildings students work toward a better understanding of the ways in which theories of architecture, representation and aesthetic judgement intersect with the material and technical concerns of construction.


Each week students are expected to complete the assigned reading material and a few short homework assignments. At the completion of the course, students will be asked to study a single building in depth and submit an analysis in the form a booklet.

History of Wood Architecture in Finland


Teachers: Netta Böök

Credits: 3–5 ECTS

The course acquaints students with the Finnish and Karelian vernacular building traditions and wood constructions. It also addresses the Finnish wooden town and the development of the traditional wooden church as well as varying themes in wooden architecture from the 1800’s to the 1970’s.

History of Finnish Architecture


Teachers: Sirkka-Liisa Jetsonen

Credits: 2–5 ECTS

This lecture course presents an overview of Finnish architecture with an emphasis on the developments and major figures of the 20th century.


Contemporary Finnish Architecture


Teachers: Pirjo Sanaksenaho

Credits: 2 ECTS

This lecture course consists of visiting lectures by contemporary practitioners in Finland presenting their own work.

An Introduction to Wood Properties and Wood Products


Teachers: Mark Hughes

Credits: 3–5 ECTS

The course consists of lectures accompanied by laboratory experiments and exercises on the characteristics of Finnish wood and Finnish wood products. Students gain an understanding of the chemical and physical properties of wood that affect its behavior from the cellular to the architectural scale.

Industrial Wood Construction


Teachers: Varies and

Credits: 3 ECTS

The course serves as an introduction to wood construction from an industrial point of view with a focus on the ecological and environmental impacts of industrial scale production and assembly. The sessions are organized around lectures, exercises and a course diary.