Kynttilä is a small, off-grid cabin set on a narrow arm of the Nunnanniemi peninsula in Eastern Finland. Helsinki-based ORTRAUM Architects designed the 150-square-foot structure as a prefab meditation cottage to ignite visual and spiritual focus without disruption.
"The concept of Kynttilä is Zen, in the definition of ‘nothing,’" explain the architects. Thus, they stripped "the content and design intention to a bare minimum" and crafted the majority of the building, including the built-in furniture and front door, out of cross-laminated timber (CLT). While larch timber covers the exterior, all CLT remains visible on the inside.
"The dimensions of the five space-enveloping elements are identical, creating a calm space," notes the firm. The minimalist interior offers just enough room for a full-size bed, and a ladder leads up to a bunk bed above.
Floor-to-ceiling glazing on one end strengthens the structure’s connection with nature, creating "direct and intimate contact and communication with the surroundings." As the firm notes, "daylight, weather, and seasons guide the rhythm of the day."
To ensure minimal impact to the forest location, the architects designed Kynttilä to be assembled in just one day. A temporary road was created to accommodate construction, and it was carefully removed as soon as the installation work was completed. Scroll ahead to see more images of the property, which now acts as both a short-term guesthouse and a meditation retreat in the summer months.
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