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 lake Saimaa in Eastern Finland.
The new space needed sleeping capacity and entertainment area to complement existing log structures on a remote site. Our goal was to create a space to sleep, gather, and play.
The double height living room pulls the outside in with oversized operable windows on the north and south. The interior reveals untreated pine log walls and bare roof rafters. 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 whimsical loft through a slotted floor. Two 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 materials palette blends with the natural surroundings. The exterior is treated with iron oxide which accelerates the natural graying process of wood. Vertical screening filters light, gives the cabin pleasant visual proportions, and increases the lifespan of the log structure. Wooden walkways follow the contours of the landscape, providing a path to the cabin while keeping the surrounding nature untouched.
The decision to pursue a log structure was made very early in the design process. The client wanted all of the materials to be sourced from Finland where wood is an abundant, renewable resource. The two existing structures on the site were built with traditional, round logs. Log construction meant that most of the fabrication happened off site with the logs craned into place over minimal post foundations. This minimized construction damage to the site and reduced the amount of pollutants that went into the air and water.
The cabin combines traditional forms and materials with contemporary systems and details to create an instantly recognizable summer cabin that is functionally and aesthetically modern. In contrast to cozy and dark log cabins, the new cabin is voluminous and filled with light. The gable roof form and log walls are common in Finnish cabins, while the details, volume, and quality of light are unexpected.