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Unveiling Lahti’s new icon: a portable wooden landmark

During the opening of Lahti Christmas Village, a new artwork dedicated to Lahti was unveiled. The wooden letters will be featured at major events and popular meeting places for both Lahti residents and tourists in the future.

This wooden artwork, 7 meters wide and 2 meters tall, takes its shape from the new logo of the city of Lahti. Serving as an advertisement, a backdrop for photographs, and a gathering point, this landmark is portable and will be showcased at major events, as well as in familiar settings for Lahti residents and tourists, such as the Sports Center, the market square, and the City Hall Park.

– We aimed to create the new Lahti artwork environmentally friendly using wood, as a continuation of the existing artworks in our city. Our hope was to introduce a movable landmark so that Lahti residents and visitors could capture themselves with the Lahti letters in different places, for instance, during the Lahti Ski Games, expressed Communications Director Veera Hämäläinen.

Local efforts in collaboration with the Pro Puu Association led to the creation of this artwork. Ebonia Design’s carpenters, Markku Tonttila and Ville Tonttila, were responsible for its design and construction. The advertising agency SEK designed the new Lahti logo for the city.

– The production of the Lahti letters was once again an enjoyable project for us, allowing us to leverage our prior experience in larger environmental artworks and city letters.

– The starting point for the design was the renewed Lahti logo, whose letter form naturally lent itself to wooden construction, especially using plywood as a primary material. We emphasized the suitability of the artwork for gatherings. The element must withstand wear and tear as well as transportation, remarked Markku Tonttila.

– City letters endure significant usage, and we identified the associated challenges. We made material choices durable against weather and heavy usage, and the structures are sturdier than usual. I believe that the new Lahti artwork will serve as a popular meeting point as before and remain a photographic subject for Lahti residents and tourists, Tonttila added.

The frame of the artwork is made from spruce planks, and the coatings on the base and the letter materials are Koskisen Oy’s KoskiFutura birch plywood.

A total of 4.5 cubic meters of wood elements were used for the letters. This amount alone offsets carbon dioxide equivalent to the annual emissions of two Lahti residents.

The new Lahti artwork will be on display at the entrance gate of Lahti Christmas Village from December 9th to December 20th, 2023. Afterward, the landmark will be moved to the Lahti Sports and Exhibition Center, where it will remain at least until the end of the Lahti Ski Games.

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