Sometimes, architecture is about specific design elements or striking visual characteristics. Sometimes, it’s more about letting the location of the structure have the last word. Situated on a slim slice of shorefront land in eastern Finland, the Kynttilä (candle) is a sustainable meditation cottage that honors unique location requirements. 

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A simple pointed house structure sitting in the middle of the woods

The Nunnanniemi Peninsula is located in Lake Saimaa near Savonlinna in eastern Finland close to the Russian border. Due to the very narrow nature of the peninsula, a small building footprint was essential. The designers at ORTRAUM Architects met the challenge with a tiny home that not only caters to the special needs of the surrounding nature reserve, but highlights views of the water on both sides of the peninsula. 

Related: Cozy waterfront cottage transforms old foundations using natural materials

The top of a rectangular wooden house sitting in the middle of a forest

To ensure minimal site impact, the builders constructed a temporary road to move materials into the build site for a single day when assembly took place. Plants and other vegetation were protected and put back into their original place once the work was done. 

A bed with a staircase at its foot and a large opening toward the forest

The concept of Kynttilä is one of Zen and meditation. With a minimalist philosophy, the space is situated to encourage focus and calmness. A massive window provides an undeniable connection to the natural environment on the other side and the water element is ever present. Natural light floods the space in any weather. 

A pointed, wooden cottage sitting in the midst of a forest

Material composition is made up almost entirely of cross-laminated timber (CLT). The exterior is clad in larch wood that immerses the cottage into the surrounding trees. Exposed indoors create a light and organic space. Even the furniture and the front door are made from the same CLT. At night, the cabin illuminates like a candle, which can be seen flickering in the forest from around the lake. 

+ ORTRAUM Architects

Images via ORTRAUM Architects