Kontio, the world’s largest, Finland-based manufacturer of cross-laminated log systems, has taken the first steps to grow its market to Canada in Vancouver. Pavel Denisov, an internationally experienced, award-winning architect based in Vancouver, recently began working with Kontio. This collaboration has advanced to where the very first Kontio log house frames were delivered to Vancouver in summer 2019.
Pavel Denisov had a passion! He wanted to build a log house in Vancouver, but there was a slight problem – no investors for this project. Pavel took that as a challenge, and he built his first custom single-family log house in Vancouver in 2016, although his history with log home construction goes back much further than that.
St. Petersburg-born Pavel graduated from university with honours as an architect in 1986 and gained experience in Soviet-time Russia where his talents and skills were widely recognized. Nine years later, he joined a western building consultancy company. That’s when he discovered the world of log building and met Finnish timber experts for the first time.
Timber has a long history in Finland. Log building in one form or another has always existed there. Pavel worked with the Finns on construction projects and immersed himself in the fascinating world of logs. His house designs rapidly gained popularity, and he decided it was time to become an independent architect. His success took him to the west coast of Canada where he started his company designing custom single-family houses in Vancouver.
Canadians love log houses just like the Finns but Pavel discovered there was no good quality laminated timber for single-family homes in the local construction industry convinced the architect to take the bull by the horns and bring Finnish log house frames to Canada. Pavel discovered Kontio’s new non-settling log, the Kontio SmartLog™, an innovative solution for massive wooden buildings that enables design freedom. Pavel says, “Kontio makes the only real non-settling log. It's brilliant and exactly what I want. It’s the best and the only solution for building in this area. It’s the way to go". Thus, Pavel Denisov was the first to bring non-settling logs to Vancouver. With SmartLog™, he is able to design and provide new trends, and combine wood with other structural and finishing materials.
Today Pavel Denisov Design is a full-service architectural firm that provides exterior and interior home design, as well as building-permit sourcing in Metro Vancouver and beyond. Furthermore, Pavel manages construction wherever Kontio delivers the log frames. While he encourages his clients to use log, he also designs conventional wood-frame homes in any style; contemporary, traditional, timeless….
Pavel Denisov, why did you choose Kontio as your partner?
"Kontio is a big company and financial stability is important. I don’t want to risk getting into a situation where the log deliverer could become bankrupt. I appreciate the quality and consistency of Kontio products. I trust Kontio.
One of the many pros is having one permanent contact person at Kontio, Tanja Palokangas, with whom I work and is the perfect coordinator between Pavel Denisov Design and Kontio’s log factory. She is always up-to-date and knows exactly what’s going on so that I can offer tight schedules and deliveries to my customers. Tanja's management and engineering expertise is making it easier for me to take care of my projects.
We are creating something that nobody else in the world is doing. With Kontio’s advanced technology, I am able to express myself as a designer and I am proud of it. My houses don’t all look the same. I can come up with various architectural solutions that meet clients' expectations and visions.
I am thinking long term. I create houses for the future. The current trend is to make houses as airtight as a thermos, but I don’t believe that is enough - I want to create healthy and energy-efficient homes that naturally follow the local energy saving regulations and meet the needs of people." Pavel says.