Resting on a forested lakeside lot in Finland, this wooden family house stands out against the wilderness and the more traditional homes nearby with its modern form and bright wood finishes inside and out. Designed by Häkli Architects, a firm mostly noted for commercial building design, the house is structured specifically to take utmost advantage of any amount of natural light. A square courtyard with an open view upward sits in the center of the dwelling, lined on three sides with window banks. The final side is an open-air walkway, providing ingress and egress to residents. While privacy is protected by the more closed nature of the outermost walls, plenty of sunlight is introduced from the courtyard windows and other smaller sources.
The entire building’s wood paneling was installed over a significant length of time by a single skilled carpenter, with unparalleled fit and finish. This paneling is dominant both inside and out, present in a single variety throughout. Even much of the bright abode’s furniture is matched in finish to the wood lining the walls, and most of its permanent fixtures are made uniform as well. The only major exceptions to this rule are the flooring (a brick tile pattern) and the kitchen’s counter (whose sides are brick). This homogenous environment helps to connect each room of the home, and to connect the interior of the home itself to the outdoors.
The cabin house combines handbuilt charm and ultramodern design innovation, with its simple board construction accented by a smooth wood finish and aluminum accents on thin ceiling-elevation window slats.
From afar, the building may seem more rectangular in form than it really is because of its uninterrupted roofline. However, the interior floorplan is actually in a U shape, and most of the front-facing area visible from afar is technically outdoors.
Not all of the house is as glassy and open as its front-facing edge is; most private rooms are clustered along the back and on corner edges, which don’t border the inner opening of the structure.
Covered porch sections are formed by the pieces of the home’s roof which stretch beyond its interior walls, giving walking paths during snowy or rainy months.
A central cutout in the home is essential to its entire design, allowing each public room to have its own wide bank of windows, allowing great amounts of light in no matter what the season or weather conditions.
Each end of the sloping roof of the combination porch and outdoor hallway leads to one opposite edge of the sequential house.
The room on one side of the outdoor hallway is a light and airy living room, with a thin rug providing a boundary between sitting space and transit zones. Huge windows and thorough artificial lighting make sure the room can be lit at all times of day and night.
The house’s kitchen changes up the decor a little bit, with a brick finish to the counter instead of the light wood seen everywhere else. The room is large enough to accommodate and entire family and their guests, with a large dining table.
On the far end of the kitchen and dining room is an open space, suitable for another sitting area if the homeowners were to decide so. Even the radiator is covered in the same wood finish as the walls, a detailed touch bringing further beauty to the home.
A thin glass strip at the ceiling provides an extra shaft of light in a more universal fashion than a conventional window, stretching from wall to wall instead of being bound to a smaller width.
The combination of the ceiling strip window and the wide traditional window set into the wall makes for a source of light at almost any time of day, and keeps the room visually interesting.