This Cozy Cabin Stands Above the Forest Floor on a Single Leg

This Cozy Cabin Stands Above the Forest Floor on a Single Leg

By Anna Squier
Studio Puisto Architects craft a calming retreat for nature lovers in a secluded Finnish forest.

Nestled into a forested region of Finland near Salamajärvi National Park, this simple 387-square-foot cabin harmoniously blends in with its natural surroundings. Developed by Studio Puisto Architects, the black-clad prototype provides ecologically sensitive accommodations at Kivijärvi Resort.

The cabin is an ideal retreat where nature lovers can enjoy the sights and sounds of great outdoors all year round. 

The simple architecture poses minimal disturbance to the natural growth of the forest.

Named Niliaitta, the cabin is a modern adaptation of a traditional building type from nearby Lapland, Finland, that serves as a safe place to store food outdoors in habitats with bears and other wild animals. Lifted in the air on a single leg, the cozy cabin provides a secluded plaace to connect with nature. "By simply retreating away up in the air, we feel immediately detached from everyday worries happening on the ground," say the architects.

The full-height glazing places the focus on the outdoors. From the exterior, the lush foliage is reflected. The rest of the building is wrapped in pine board with a natural, black-tone wood oil finish.

A simple staircase leads to the cabin’s warm and cozy interior. The structure is supported by a single steel post and corresponding steel framing.

It was imperative to preserve the rich landscape, so the cabin was strategically positioned to allow the existing trees and natural elements to remain in place. The single pillar maintains minimal contact with the ground below, and the forest terrain was allowed to return to its original condition after construction. 

Upon entry, full-height glazing with a stunning view of the forested surroundings pulls you in, blurring the boundary between inside and outside. The cabin’s utilitarian areas are located in the center of the plan, so the remainder of the space remains open.

An enclosed shower is located in the central core. Built-in towel bars match the wood tone of the interior cladding, maintaining the minimal color palette. 

A narrow, elevated path provides access to the warm, wood-clad space. The interior is simple and muted—it’s a neutral canvas second to the breathtaking surrounding landscape.All utility spaces—the bathroom, spacious shower, building systems, and kitchenette—are housed in a core in the middle of the cabin, allowing the rest of the space to remain as open as possible.

A small kitchenette on the back side of the central core provides all the necessary cooking amenities for guests.

You can truly sleep amongst the trees in this cozy cabin, enjoying all that nature has to offer.

The main focus is the floor-to-ceiling window, which runs the length of the entire rear wall, and provides unobstructed views of the natural setting.

To be environmentally sensitive, the cabin was built using ecological materials—including wood finishes and eco-wool insulation—and no plastic. The exterior materials and dark coloring help the cabin blend into its surroundings and appear as if it has always belonged on the site.

A small table is built into the headboard of the bed, providing dining space for two. Simple pendant lights hang above, adding a decorative element to the muted interior. 

The wood-clad interior provides a cozy atmosphere, healthy air, and pleasant acoustics thanks to the finger paneling on the walls.

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The resort’s topography varies widely, which makes it impossible to design a single type of accommodation for the entire area. Niliaitta is just one of the concepts, which has now come to fruition as a completed prototype.

Water, sewer pipes, and electrical cables all run under the external staircase in an enclosure, leaving the exterior as clean as can be.

The simple walkway paired with the single post impose minimally on the forest terrain. 

In the future, the nature-inspired resort plans to build a total of 50 new accommodations, along with an additional sauna and conference center that will float above the water on the shoreline. The entire resort will be oriented toward a bonfire on an island in the lake, providing a central, calming focal point and a visual reminder to hone in on just the essentials.

The gable-framed cabin hovers gently above the ground, blending in with the tall  trees. 

The resort includes just under 27,000 square feet of wild habitat, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy all that nature has to offer in Kivijärvi, Finland.

Niliaitta is currently available for rent through Hannunkivi Holiday Village.

Related Reading:

Choose Your Own Adventure With a Prefab Pod That Can Pop Up Anywhere

A Pair of Pine Cone–Shaped Tree Houses Overlook a Grand Fjord in Norway

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Studio Puisto Architects Ltd. / @studiopuisto

Builder/General Contractor: Laadulla Oy

Contractor, Steel Structures: Jake-Man Oy / Veli-Pekka Niemisto

Structural Engineer: BD-Con Oy

Landscape Design Company: Studio Puisto Architects Ltd.

Lighting Design: Studio Puisto Architects Ltd.

Interior Surfaces/Fittings: Petri Leppänen

HVAC Design: LVI-insinööritoimisto Jorma Niemonen Oy

Electrical Design: Karawatski Oy

Photography: Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres / @archmospheres

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