- Builder:Pekka Kämäräinen
This 600 square foot summer cottage is a guest cabin and owner's retreat. Perched high on a granite ridge, the cabin has panoramic views of high latitude forest and lake Saimaa in Eastern Finland. The property has been a summer holiday destination for the client for the past 30 years. The brief was to create a new space that can house extended family and also serve a purpose when visiting with smaller groups.
The double height living room pulls the outside in with over-sized operable windows on the north and south. The living room is a voluminous indoor/outdoor space that shelters you from the elements and mosquitoes while allowing you to enjoy the breeze and warmth of the sun. This main space connects to a loft through a slotted floor. The whimsical loft feels like a tree house; it is a perfect place to hide and read a book. Generously sized bedrooms bookend the living space to the east and west, each with a picture window to the site.
High care was taken to preserve the beauty of the site. The window assemblies and logs were manufactured off site and lofted into place with a crane. The materials palette blends with the natural surroundings. The vertical screening filters light and echoes the tall nature of the forest. Wooden walkways follow the contours of the landscape, providing a path to the cabin while keeping the surrounding nature untouched.
The design combines old ways with new technologies. The main structure is made of pine logs, like many traditional structures in Finland. In contrast to cozy and dark log cabins, the new cabin is voluminous and filled with light. The exterior is treated with iron oxide, a treatment which accelerates the natural graying process of wood. The vertical screening is strategically located on the west, south, and east facades where sun exposure is the highest. The screening is like a protective coat, it is removable and replaceable. The interior of the cabin reveals the untreated pine log walls and bare roof rafters. The gable roof form and log walls are common in Finnish cabins, while the details, volume, and quality of light are unexpected.
The cabin combines traditional forms and materials with contemporary systems and details to create an instantly recognisable summer cabin that is functionally and aesthetically modern.