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Villa Valtanen

Villa Valtanen is designed to Lapland´s fell landscape and was choosen the Log House of The Year 2012 in Finland. Villa Valtanen is designed by Oulu-based architect (SAFA) Lauri Louekari and it is hidden in the wilderness of Lapland´s fell landscape. The building is divided in separate cabin, sauna and wood shed, joined by terrace.

Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-03-759x441 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Lauri Louekari

Villa Valtanen is a prime example of Finnish wood architecture. Its untreated logs and black boarding panels create an appearance of contrast, decorated with the natural details found in the logs. The hideaway cabin built in the mountains in Lapland is surrounded by serene wilderness. The building is divided into a section that contains a living area and sauna, and a separate wood shed, with a terrace in between. The building opens beautifully to its surroundings.

Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-06-759x393 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Lauri Louekari

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.

Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-07-759x461 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Lauri Louekari

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.

Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-08-759x505 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Lauri Louekari

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.

Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-11-759x925 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Lauri Louekari

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.

Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-14-759x626 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Lauri Louekari

Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari is Finnish architecture office by Lauri Louekari. Wood has played a key role in Lauri Louekari´s architecture since very beginning. In recent, he has studied the use of solid timber structures.

Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-17-759x559 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Kaisa Siren

  • The use of modern technology and new treatment methods have started a new chapter in Finnish wood architecture. Lauri Louekari´s Villa Valtanen won a respected wood prize, ”A Log House of the Year” by Puuwoodholzbois at the winter 2012. The wilderness hideaway, located in Lapland close to Arctic Circle, combines ancient timber structures and modern architecture.
Villa-Valtanen-By-Arkkitehtitoimisto-Louekari-02 Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari

© Lauri Louekari

Project Data:

Project name: Villa Valtanen
Location: Rovanniemi, Lapland, Finland

  • Type By Characteristic: Cabin / Hut / Cottage, Green & Sustainable House, Villa
  • Type By Site: Forest House
  • Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
  • Type By Structural: Wooden House

Project Area: 55.5 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2012


  • 2012 A Log House of the Year by Puuwoodholzbois in Finland

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private
Architects: Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari – Koskitie 32 C, 90500 Oulu, Finland
Project Architect: Lauri Louekari
Structural Design: Jussi Tervaoja
Builder: Hirsiset
Text Description: © Courtesy of puuwoodholzbois
Images: © Lauri Louekari, Kaisa Siren

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Villa Valtanen / Arkkitehtitoimisto Louekari
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