An award-winning architect and world’s largest log house manufacturer design houses for the future

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Kontio, the world’s largest, Finland-based manufacturer of cross-laminated log system, took first steps in Vancouver and grew its market to Canada. Pavel Denisov, an internationally experienced, award-winning architect based in Vancouver, has recently started working with Kontio. This new collaboration bloomed to the stage where the very first Kontio log house frame was delivered to Vancouver in summer 2019.

Pavel Denisov had a passion. He was eager to build a log house in Vancouver. One might say there was a problem: he couldn’t find an investor for his project – but Pavel took that more as a challenge rather than a problem. As a result Pavel built his first custom single-family log house himself in 2016. But his history with log goes further back in time.

St. Petersburg born Pavel graduated as an architect in 1986 from the university with honors and gained local experience in Soviet time in Russia. His skills were not left unnoticed and 10 years later he joined a western building consultancy company. That’s when he got in the world of a log and met Finns for the first time. Timber has a long history in Finland. One might say that log building in some form has existed as long as the Finnish land.

Pavel did some construction projects together with the Finns and got into the world of fascinating log. He designed houses that rapidly became popular, like Scandinavia, and felt it was time to take a step as an independent architect. His success drove him to Vancouver, located in Canadian West Coast where he started his company by designing custom single-family houses.

To Pavel Canada is pretty similar to Finland; Canadians also love log houses. But the lack of a good quality laminated timber in the local construction industry for single family houses makes the architect thought it would be a good idea to bring Finnish log house frames to Canada and took the bull by the horns. Pavel had discovered Kontio’s new non-settling log, the Kontio SmartLog™, an innovative solution for massive wooden buildings that is enabling freedom for design.

”Kontio is making the real non-settling log. It's absolutely brilliant and exactly what I want.  It is the best and the only solution to build in this area. That’s the way to go”, Pavel celebrates the Kontio’s world's unique technology.

The locals appreciate the aesthetics of the living environment and are not prepared to live in all-wood neighborhood. Pavel was the first who bought non-settling log to Vancouver. With SmartLog he could design and provide new trends and combine wood to other structural and finishing materials and designs.

Today Pavel Denisov Design is a full-service architectural firm, providing exterior and interior home design, building permit sourcing in Metro Vancouver and beyond. Furthermore, Pavel manages construction where 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 or timeless.

Pavel Denisov, the 2018 Georgie Awards Winner for Best Innovation Feature: "I believe that my best design will be in the future. I’m learning and improving by building together with Kontio."

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 the situation that the log deliverer would get bankrupt. I appreciate the quality and consistency of Kontio products. I trust Kontio.

One of the many pros is also having one permanent contact person at Kontio, Tanja Palokangas, whom I work with and who is a perfect coordinator between Pavel Denisov Design and Kontio’s log factory. She is up to date at all times and knows perfectly what’s going on so I can offer the tight schedules and deliveries to my customers. I could say that Tanja's management and engineering expertise is making it easier to me to take care of my projects.

We are creating something that no one else is doing in the world. With Kontio’s advanced technology I am able to express myself as a designer and am proud of it. My houses don’t look the same. I can come up with various architectural solutions that meet clients' expectations.

I am thinking long term; I create houses for the future. The current trend is to make houses as airtight as thermoses. But I don’t think it's sufficient, I want to create healthy and energy efficient homes that naturally follow the local energy saving regulations and people needs." Pavel says.

Kontio manufactures unique homes based on the architect’s view.

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