The Domus Arctica Foundation wanted to provide students with a safe and healthy residential building that would serve as a landmark both for Rovaniemi and for environmental values. DAS Kelo is now complete, which allowed students to move into their new homes on August 1st, 2019.

DAS Kelo is the first eight-storey student housing block in Finland and Rovaniemi built with CLT. The building ‘s ground floor is made from concrete, but the remaining seven floors are constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT). The architecture has been reduced to the essentials and crafted for Arctic conditions. DAS Kelo’s silver grey painted exterior is made of spruce board, and the light wood cladding of the corridors, interior staircases and apartment ceilings create the illusion of polar pines with their silver grey patina. The apartments have plenty of natural light, and the large windows with their French balconies and colourful lower windows add their own distinctive touch.

The building is a Rovaniemi landmark, located in the middle of the shared campus of the University of Lapland and the Lapland University of Applied Sciences. The pulpit ceiling, the recessed entrance painted in blue, and the corridor ventilation shafts in the reverberant colours of forest berries and plants all add their individual flair to the building. The white window frames and the corridor window detailing draw their inspiration from the Arctic wilderness. The courtyard, its landscaping and bicycle racks also blend into the surroundings nicely.

DAS Kelo makes use of low carbon solutions, a circular economy and resource efficiency. Wood construction has proven to be one of the most effective actions against climate change. DAS Kelo combines state-of-the-art technology with comforting wooden surfaces to create an appealing living environment with energy savings and a renewed sense of community. Solar panels on the roof collect energy that flows to electrical storage and from there to the communal DAS electric car. Sewage water heat recovery, apartment-specific air supply and extraction units and overall control and monitoring panels all contribute to making the building a comfortable and healthy place to live.

The top floor has a sauna with a lounge and panoramic balconies for communal use. Other communal areas include a laundry facility and its adjacent club room, proving residents with ample space for gathering together. A dedicated maintenance area makes bicycle maintenance as effortless as possible. Mail packages are delivered to the SmartPost pick-up point just down the stairs.

DAS Kelo and the decision to build it on campus are the result of extensive collaboration. The design and construction of DAS Kelo are a joint effort of the City of Rovaniemi, the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lapland, the foundation’s residents, student organisations and the utility companies Napapiirin Energia and Vesi NEVE Oy.

DAS Kelo was financed with an investment grant from The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) and a subsidised interest loan. The project will be documented in a publication funded by the Ministry of the Environment and a video funded by ARA. Kelo can be considered a successful promoter of wood construction in Lapland and has already attracted industry visitors from all over Finland.


Project in brief
Domus Arctica –säätiö DAS sr
Volume: 15184,0 m3, Floor area: 4 583,0 m2, Living space floor area: 3998,0 m2
Structural design: 
A-Insinöörit Oy
Special design: 
Electric design: Sähkö ja Data Harjula Oy, HVAC design: LVI-Ins.tsto Koski-Konsultit
Lapin Mestarirakentajat Oy, Supplier of wood elements: Elementti-Sampo Oy