Published in 4/2023 - Forest


Vapunsaari Cabin

Playa Architects

Architects Tuukka Vuori, Ulla Kuitunen
Location Hirvensalmi
Gross Area 71 m2
Completion 2021

The cabin is located on a small rocky island in Lake Suontee in Etelä-Savo. The island comprises a fishing lodge built by previous generations in the 1960s and a waterfront sauna from a few decades later. As the fishing lodge was too small for a family of three, it was decided to build a new cabin next to it.

The building is located on the flattest spot on the island, adjacent to the finest landscape. Sheltered beneath the pitched roof with long eaves is an outdoor space oriented in three directions, so that one can always find shelter on the windy island. The uninsulated gable walls frame the views and protect the terraces from the harsh weather. The interiors overlook the lake and the evening sun. The heart of the building is a room with an open kitchen that looks out in three directions.

The cabin was built by local craftsmen, who were experts on constructing on islands, and the windows, doors and fixed furniture were made by a local carpenter in accordance with the architect’s designs. Both the main building frame and the cladding are spruce. The aim was to create a peaceful mono-material space.

The building has a CLT frame. Modern computer-controlled woodworking allowed for simple and unassuming details, such as the installation of windows and doors without trims. The wooden parts are almost completely untreated and will turn grey over time. There is no thermal insulation in the walls, but there is cellulose-fibre insulation in both the floor and roof construction. The ventilation is natural, and each room also has a ventilation hatch. The building’s heating is based on a wood stove and a remote-controlled, oil-heated radiator maintains a constant output of heating. ↙

Photos Tuomas Uusheimo