Temporary wooden pavilion in Tokyo

  • References
  • |
  • |
  • Offsite construction, Kerto LVL

Modern Metsä Pavilion in Tokyo – the result of rapid offsite construction with wooden elements

The Metsä Pavilion in Tokyo is the showcase of fast wooden element construction. The contemporary building was constructed at a rapid pace to serve as an event platform for Finnish companies from October 2020 until the end of year 2021. During the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics it was to serve as the home base for Finnish national teams. It took only two weeks to assemble the load-bearing wooden structure of the Pavilion. This is due to the prefabricated Kerto® LVL elements which make construction fast, light and green.

As the name Metsä Pavilion implies, the wooden building is constructed of Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber). The pavilion was planned by Helin & Co Architects. The Metsä Pavilion is Business Finland’s project and Metsä Group is the main partner.

The Metsä Pavilion provides a unique chance for Finnish companies to show their expertise and make Finland known in Japan. Historically, the pavilion is one of the biggest investments Business Finland has made in the Japanese market. It is also a great way to contribute to the success of the games, and the Japanese really respect it’, says Petri Tulensalo, Head of Sports Cluster at Business Finland.

Stylish buildings with standard LVL elements

Jussi Björman, Director Business Development, Construction at Metsä Wood, is also satisfied with the Metsä Pavilion, a project launched two years ago.

‘Japan has a great tradition in wood construction, but the use of wood in multi-storey buildings is a fairly new phenomenon. The Metsä Pavilion is part of our business plan for that market’, says Björman.
The pavilion is a showcase of how to construct a stylish building fast by using standard elements.

Prefabricated elements in standard sizes

The quick pace of constructing the Metsä Pavilion stems from many things. The Kerto LVL elements, columns, and beams were prefabricated at the Timberpoint element factory in Loviisa, Finland. It took just seven weeks to produce them.

It was also easy to minimise waste as the Kerto LVL elements, columns, and beams were produced in standard sizes that fit the Kerto LVL production lines and Timberpoint’s factory.

’It is an innovative thing that the element producer shared his expertise with the structural designer before the planning started. In general, we all had the will to create together the best possible Metsä Pavilion’, says Björman.

The wall elements are made of Kerto LVL T-studs and Kerto LVL Q-panels. The roof and intermediate floor elements are made using Kerto LVL S-beams and Q-panels.

Construction at a rapid pace

Other benefits of offsite construction were apparent on site. It was quick to build with wood as it is a lightweight material, that is, 4–5 times lighter than concrete. Additionally, the great workability of Kerto LVL brought rapidness to the process. Puurakentajat, the subcontractor of the element producer Timberpoint, was responsible for the construction.

‘We constructed the wooden structure in just ten days. A 25-tonne auto crane was enough to lift the light Kerto LVL elements’, says Jyrki Huttunen, CEO at Puurakentajat. The company is experienced in the construction of wooden multi-storey residential buildings, kindergartens, and schools. 

Japanese architect Atsushi Ueda’s team continued from here with the installation of the windows and completed the décor and visible surfaces of the pavilion. 

Later on, the building can be disassembled and assembled again at a new location.

Strong to resist wind and earthquake loads

The Metsä Pavilion’s load-bearing structure consists of Kerto LVL. The structure is planned to resist the strong winds and potential earthquakes in Japan.

‘The roof elements add rigidity to the structure and transmit the wind and earthquake loads through the walls to the foundation. An additional diagonal support ensures the stability of the connections in between the roof and columns’, says Lasse Hietanen, Project Manager at AINS Group, who planned the structural design of the Metsä Pavilion.

Simple connections with massive screws

50 cm long screws were used to make the timber-to-timber-connections strong because of the special conditions in Japan. The screws also ensure that, later on, the disassembly process by Atsushi Ueda’s team is easy.  

The connections between the primary beams and columns include specifically designed steel parts, which create an illusion that the roof is levitating in the air. 

The main columns were bolted to the foundation, just like one would build any other multi-storey building. This solution also adds to the requirement of the stylish look of every detail.


The Metsä Pavilion is built according to the Finnish fire-safety norms, because the construction site is owned by the State of Finland.  

Jussi Björman states that many proven solutions were used to make the building fire safe. The Kerto LVL structures have a 30-minute fire resistance rating. The exits are situated at both ends of the building so a sprinkler system wasn’t needed.

Project finished

The Metsä Pavilion has met the expectations of Business Finland and Metsä Wood. The pavilion is proof that stylish buildings can be constructed from prefabricated wooden elements. It is also a great example of industrial efficiency. 

‘We are pleased that the Metsä Pavilion will serve Finnish companies and athletes in a new way compared to previous pavilions. The hosts can organise all kinds of events, concerts and meetings there in addition to parties. We are really proud of the end-result’, highlights Björman.

Meetings, seminars, brunches, evening gatherings, and many more events will be hosted in the Metsä Pavilion, representing Finland as an innovative, functional, and responsible country.

‘We are happy that many companies have decided to bring their events to the Metsä Pavilion, where wood meets nature scenery on the walls, world-class audio, and design furniture – all from Finland’, adds Tulensalo.

In the evening, one can see the illuminated Tokyo Tower from the terrace.


  • Pekka Helin
    Architect SAFA, FISE AA

    Pekka Helin

  • Lasse Hietanen
    Structural designer

    Lasse Hietanen

  • Atsushi Ueda

    Atsushi Ueda

  • Marko Suonpää
    CEO, Timberpoint Oy

    Marko Suonpää