Koli Cultura

Koli Cultura opens a New Era for Nature Tourism with a 3-D Animation



The high-grade Koli Cultura 3-D animation was launched at the Matka 2012 Fair on 19 January. The new animation will shed light on the design and architecture of the centre and its scenic location. With the rhythms of the music from Sibelius's Karelia Series, the animation will take you from outer space to Koli and then land at the Koli Cultura Centre.



The phenomenal animation will introduce the architecture of the Koli Cultura project. This modern architecture, which nonetheless fits in with its surroundings, was developed by two top agencies, JKMM Arkkitehdit and Harris-Kjisik. According to Pia Kuusiniemi from LOCI Maisema-arkkitehdit, the agency responsible for landscape planning, the animation will help people understand the relationship between the centre and the national landscape.


“The starting point for the planning of Koli Cultura was the landscape, its rhythm and its sceneries. The plan will fit in with the landscape, respecting its characteristic features. The implementation of the centre is based on the use of local materials and species.”


Petja Piiroinen spoke for Sustainable Tourism


The theme of sustainable tourism and the new Koli Cultura animation was the subject of much discussion at the Matka 2012 travel fair among the public and the Koli Cultura partners. Snowboarder Petja Piiroinen spoke for increasingly sustainable tourism at the launch. The snowboarding siblings Petja and Peetu Piiroinen are two of the Koli Cultura partners and will participate in the Kumppanuuksien Talo (House of Partnerships) project, to be constructed from 2012 onwards. The Piiroinen siblings want to participate in slowing down climate change through their own actions and by setting their own example.


“It is a pleasure to participate in Koli Cultura. A project based on sustainable values is suitable for Koli. Tourism should support the preservation of nature and landscapes. The future of tourism lies in sustainability. The House of Partnerships and Koli Cultura will set an example for other tourism centres as well,” Petja Piiroinen explained.


Tiina Merikoski, a specialist in the design of sustainable tourism areas from Aalto University, also discussed the Koli Cultura project at the fair. The Aalto University Department of Architecture, School of Economics and the Finnish University Network for Tourism Studies (FUNTS) will cooperate to organise an international Planning, Branding & Designing Tourism Destination course in early spring 2012. Koli Cultura will be presented as a model item.


“In my opinion, it is essential to base the development of Koli Cultura on values and ambitious objectives. A vast and multidisciplinary network of committed operators will allow the centre to become a unique site both nationally and internationally, one set in the unique Koli surroundings,” Merikoski said in praise of the project.


New Praise for the High-quality Design


The release of the animation also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve, which cooperates closely with UNESCO. In honour of the anniversary, a 'Koli Cultura in the national landscape' briefing took place before the Matka 2012 travel fair on 13 January at the Joensuu Science Park. Paavo Pelkonen, Chairman of the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve Steering Group, described the feeling at the event organised at netWork Oasis:


“Watching this animation, it’s easy to forget we are in Joensuu and not at Koli. It's such an amazing experience.”


Cooperation with the Biosphere Reserve is an essential feature of developing the sustainable Koli Cultura model. In addition, the cooperation with the Finnish Forest and Park Service will ensure that the activities are carried out according to the values of the national park.


“The scenic location of Koli Cultura is excellent for tourism. It is an unseen area at the proximity of an existing traffic lane, and it will also resolve certain issues related to traffic and parking currently experienced at the national park. The centre will benefit from high-quality design that reflects the values of the national park, and since it is closely connected with the park, the Finnish Forest and Park Service wishes to participate in the project,” said Kyösti Tuhkalainen, Park Superintendent at the Koli National Park Avenue, after participating in the event.


According to Rauno Väisänen, director of Natural Heritage Services at the Finnish Forest Park Service, the National Park and Koli Cultura also have some contentual factors in common. Operators based on sustainable nature tourism such as Koli Cultura need national parks—and vice-versa.


“The Natural Heritage Services of the Finnish Forest Park Service provides free services such as routes, campfire sites and lean-to structures in national parks that are part of the most magnificent jewels of Finnish nature. The national landscape and the hiking services added value in a profitable environment for operators who, like the operators of the Koli Cultura project, provide the high-quality and sustainable services popular among travellers.”


More information


The Koli Cultura 3-D animation was produced as part of the LuontoKolin kasvusysäys (Nature Koli growth thrust) project coordinated by PIKES Oy. The animation was made by 3D-Render Oy, Napa-Koli Oy, the company coordinating the Koli Cultura project, as well as the architecture agencies in charge of planning the Koli Cultura project (JKMM Arkkitehdit, Arkkitehtitoimisto Harris-Kjisik and LOCI Maisema-arkkitehdit). The animation can be viewed on the Koli Cultura website.


Photo: Petja Piiroinen at Nordic Travel Fair 2012. Photographer Anna Jetsu.