Finnish designers Aleksi Hautamäki and Milla Selkimaki wanted to experience living as close to nature as possible. Aleksi, a spatial planning designer, wondered if they could safely and comfortably live off-grid. The couple spent five years searching for land on which to build their off-grid dream house. Finally, they found the perfect place, a small island in southwestern Finland near Archipelago National Park.
The couple knew they had to create a home that existed in harmony with nature instead of overriding it. “My design philosophy in this case, as well as in my work in general, starts with the user,” said Aleksi. “And I’ve been thinking of course – as being the user myself in this project, what I want here and what we need here.”
Here’s a video from Lunawood of Aleksi talking about the project:
(In Finnish with English subtitles.)
The couple calls their new home Project Ö. The home is comprised of two dwellings made with timber logs, though they’re a far cry from the old log cabins that we’re all used to, reports Bridget Borgobello for New Atlas.
Aleksi chose to use narrow wood planks from Lunawood, a sustainable building materials company. The elegant narrow planks present a clean, minimalist look.
In addition to being beautifully designed, the construction of the buildings had to follow strict local building codes and be able to withstand the harsh Finnish winter.
The buildings include a main 484-sq ft house, which includes a living area, kitchen, master bedroom, traditional Finnish sauna, and bathroom, as well as plenty of outdoor deck space. The other building is a 269-sq ft workshop and storage area.
Two roof-top solar panels power the buildings, and there is a backup combustion generator for emergency energy needs. In addition, the home utilizes a water filtration system that purifies water directly from the Baltic Sea. The home has hot running water in the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as for the sauna. The sauna’s heating system also heats the home.