Located very close to the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Finland, design firm Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari has designed and built a beautiful wilderness hideaway that in isolation on a forested hillside. The home, which consists of a living room with a sauna and a separate woodshed, is covered in tarred timber, reflecting the charred remains of old forest fires. Villa Valtanen was created from local materials, using local craftsmanship with a deep respect for the surrounding Nordic landscape.
A beautiful combination of ancient timber and modern architecture, Villa Valtanen consists of two shelters connected by a platform. One shelter is an open living space and the other one it’s a place to relax and unwind Nordic style: a sauna. Standing on stilts and overlooking beautiful forests, the house proudly exhibits a traditional old Finnish building system: dovetail joints.
To protect the wood from the elements and help preserve it, the architects used a black tar made from pinewood and roots, which acts like a “raincoat.” Everything about this hideaway was made locally, except for the solar panels and composting toilet, which are ideal things to have in a remote location. A 2012 winner of the respected wood prize ”A Log House of the Year” by Puuwoodholzbois, Villa Valtanen sets an example of sustainable forest architecture at its best.
Photo © Lauri Louekari