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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
Niliaitta is currently available for rent through Hannunkivi Holiday Village.
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
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