Over the years, Pekka has collected a massive photo library of MCM homes, and the vision of our home has been shaping already long before finding Kaislaranta. Among Pekka’s favorites have been for example the Invermark House in South Africa and the Ahm House in England.

After the initial visit at the site in July 2018, Pekka drew the first drafts of the house. Post and beam structure complemented by big windows facing to the sea was a must. The direction of the sun and closeness of water also impacted the plans. There was enough space for a one story building, and the overall atmosphere of the land called for a humble, leisure home like design.

The first “back of the envelope” draft (literally drawn on an envelope). At first the house was divided in two sections by a brick wall in the middle.

Initially, we were thinking the house should be built of white brick. But after spending time at the site we shifted to dark wood instead, so that the building would blend in the surrounding nature as much as possible.

The layout evolved step by step. Every time we showed the draft blueprint for friends or family, something useful came up. At first, all ideas were welcome and everything was solved by adding more square meters without really worrying about the cost. However, this approach is a luxury which also in our case flew out of the window with the first budget draft.

One of the first visualizations by Plusarkkitehdit, which Pekka embedded in a picture taken from Kaislaranta.

In 2020, we started a collaboration with architect Jani Lahti (Plusarkkitehdit) to refine the draft design. Through further iterations with Jani, we landed with a simple, box type post and beam house.

Now in 2023, Pekka reflected that of all the inspiring mid-century modern houses, many of Craig Ellwood‘s designs are actually closest to the red thread of our own house. Visually, the house is in a dialogue with the nature, and it has a similar floating design than for example Ellwood’s Rosen House. Inside, the material palette is very simple: black stone floor in all rooms, wooden ceiling and white or wooden walls, again drawing inspiration from Ellwood’s Steinman House & Hunt House.

Of course, Finland’s four seasons somewhat limit the degrees of freedom compared to, for example, building a house in South Africa. In winter, the cold and snowy conditions and the year-round wind load place several demands on structural design, which do not always go hand in hand with aesthetic details. However, as a result of several iterations, we have (hopefully) reached a workable compromise between good construction methods and visual ambitions.

So, what do you think?

Posted by:Minna

Loves trail running, builds a home with Team Olive Green at the sea, does all kinds of silly stuff with two minors and a dachshund.

2 replies on “From sketches to final design

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