The Villa Valtanen

The Villa Valtanen stands on top of a rocky outcrop with views towards the distant fells through the surrounding forest, which has been spared from clear cutting. The immediate surroundings contain standing, dead pine trunks, the scars of old forest fires and fine glacial boulders.

The task was to design a wilderness hideaway consisting of a living room and sauna with a separate woodshed. Between the buildings is a terrace which provides access to both.

The living room and sauna have a log frame with fishtail corner joints. Between them is a lofty space with big windows opening onto the fell landscape of forest Lapland.

The log frames here are not load-bearing, but the building has a series of beams which carry the laminated-veneer-lumber rafters. The side walls are clad in tarred 45 mm planking which acts like a ‘raincoat’ and allows the use of a short eaves with almost no overhang. The gable walls are sheltered by a traditional eaves with a very long overhang. The dark finish on the external walls helps the building to melt into the landscape. In contrast, the oiled natural-wood finish brings light to the entrance facades.

The theme of this building constructed to the north of Rovaniemi, almost on the Arctic Circle, is localization. The log frames, windows, doors, facade mouldings and other joinery were made by local firms. The only products imported from outside were the solar panels and their batteries, and the composting toilet.

Project in brief
Location: 
Rovaniemi
Size: 
55,5 m2
Structural design: 
Jussi Tervaoja