Founded in 2003, Siparila is a Finnish company that specializes in natural wood cladding and wall paneling for a variety of purposes.
Siparila’s name originates from the Karelian village where founder Juha Sojakka’s grandfather Hilmer grew up, a place surrounded by forests and renowned for its strong history of woodworking. Today, the company continues that tradition with modern Nordic design and exquisite Finnish craftmanship. Siparila became part of the Thermory family in 2020 – let’s take a closer look at its history, products and success stories.
Siparila provides materials for architects, designers and homeowners looking to create new private or public spaces, or transform existing ones, through a variety of building and renovation projects. The company produces a broad range of cladding products made from high-quality natural Nordic wood, including finished cladding, fire-retardant cladding, interior and exterior cladding, and sauna materials.
The company’s ethos highlights a deep respect for nature and an admiration for the versatility of wood, with its ability to inspire creativity in the user. As well as being cost efficient, wood’s timeless beauty brings visual appeal, comfort and a sense of warmth to any space, whether modern or traditional by design. Siparila’s products are also convenient to use and easy to install, which saves time and effort during construction.
Since it started life almost two decades ago, Siparila has continually reviewed its practices, striving for excellence, updating the way products are manufactured and introducing a series of innovations to the market – all while retaining its strong Finnish heritage and commitment to using locally sourced wood. Some examples of Siparila’s contributions to the market during its short history include breathable wax surface treatments for wet areas such as saunas, pre-painted wooden panels for construction and a concealed mounting system that eradicates the potential for damage caused by water and impurities entering through nail holes.
The company has also revolutionized its relationship with its workers over the years, increasing profits and employee satisfaction by moving towards more self-directed working methods. Joining forces with US Wood in 2018 and Thermory in 2020, Siparila now employs over 150 woodworking specialists and operates factories across Finland in Vaajakoski, Parkano, Kajaani, and Myllykoski, along with the Teuva factory that specializes in thermally modified wood products, brought into the fold in 2020 after Thermory’s acquisition of the company.
Siparila’s products are sold under a number of categories including interior panels, mouldings, sauna and wet areas, and cladding. Within the latter category, several product choices are offered such as fire-retardant cladding with a special treatment that gives the highest available fire protection rating, extra-wide panels and even wider PLATTA products, both being ideal cladding for large-scale projects and apartment blocks, and TOPCOAT fully finished cladding panels, which come either pre-painted or coated with a translucent finish that accentuates the wood’s natural grain and tone. As well as featuring hidden fixings, TOPCOAT products offer superior durability and protection from cold and wet weather before, during and after construction.
Wood products from Siparila have been used for a diverse range of public and private building projects, with several leading Finnish organizations taking advantage of their versatility and quality. Some notable examples include the use of fire-retardant cladding and interior paneling at Helsinki Olympic Stadium, TOPCOAT cladding at Metsä Wood’s Pro Nemus visitor center in Äänekoski, the stunning Allas Sea Pool in Helsinki which benefits from fire-retardant TOPCOAT panels, and KOO2 birch interior panels used at Lapuan Kankurit’s stylish Helsinki store.
Siparila’s unique PLATTA façade panels have recently been used to clad the world’s tallest wooden apartment block. Construction on HOAS Tuulinniitty, a 13-story student building housing 165 apartments in Espoo, Finland, is expected to reach completion in summer 2021. The project used boards coated with Ultra Pro 30, a specially selected moisture-resistant paint that was provided by Siparila’s partner Tikkurila and extensively weather tested before installation. Along with the wind and rain protection offered by the strong 20-mm-thick, cross-glued three-layer spruce panels and the smooth, nail-free construction that prevents the formation of cavities where moisture can gather, this ensures that the panels offer powerful protection against the elements.
The PLATTA product range was introduced in 2017 in response to demand from architects for wider wooden surfaces that allow for quick, simple, and cost-effective cladding on larger apartment buildings. PLATTA boards are fully finished at the factory, with damp and UV protection, tongue-and-groove end-matching on all four sides for quick and easy installation and concealed fixings for additional durability and a sleek appearance. The panels are also available with a fire-retardant coating.
It’s rare that such a tall building is clad with wood, and the ambitious Tuulinniitty project was particularly challenging for HOAS, the foundation for student housing in the Helsinki region. With their pre-coating of weather-resistant paint, straightforward nail-free fixing system, and conveniently wide profiles, Siparila’s PLATTA boards presented the perfect solution. In addition to the white PLATTA panels, the building also uses Siparila’s TOPCOAT-W edge-glued spruce cladding for the dark gray surfaces, resulting in a stunning piece of modern architecture that truly demonstrates what can be achieved with wood and shows the breathtaking effect this beautiful and sustainable natural material can produce when used on a building of this magnitude.