Studio Puisto balances black cabin on slender column in Finnish forest

A cabin by Studio Puisto clad in black-painted wood

Niliaitta is a black-painted cabin that Studio Puisto has elevated on a single column and hidden within woodland near the Salamajärvi National Park in Finland.

The cabin, which forms part of a new resort in Kivijärvi, is an interpretation of an ancient Niliaitta – an elevated wooden hut used by indigenous Samí people to safely store food outdoors.

Studio Puisto‘s goal is to pay homage to the history of Samí culture in the area while also creating a space that offers visitors a feeling of detachment from the outside world.

An aerial view of Studio Puisto's woodland cabin in Finland
Niliaitta is a cabin hidden within woodland in Finland

“The idea is that by simply retreating away up in the air, we feel immediately detached from our everyday worries happening on the ground,” the Finnish firm explained.

“The contrast between the wild nature and a safe, cosy interior space is emphasised throughout, strongly guiding the overall experience.”

A black cabin elevated on a column in Finnish woodland
It is elevated on a single slender column

The cabin is the first of 25 Niliaitta suites set to be built within the forest for the Kivijärvi Resort.

A further 25 rooms in a different design will also be built nearby, some of which will be positioned on the ground while others will float on a nearby lake alongside a sauna and conference centre.

A woodland cabin clad in black-painted wood
It is clad almost entirely in black-painted wood

As well as helping to create a feeling of isolation for visitors, elevating the Niliaitta on a single column also helped Studio Puisto to reduce the project’s impact on the forest setting.

Similarly, its position and access point were chosen to minimise the number of trees that had to be removed during its construction.

A Finnish cabin clad in black-painted wood
A long, linear staircase leads up to the cabin

“The overall building footprint is just minimised to the pillar diameter,” said project architect Mikko Jakonen.

“Even though the foundation of the pillar is massive, it allowed us the ability to restore the nature around the pillar to its original state,” he told Dezeen.

An elevated cabin with black-painted wood cladding
The elevation of the cabin is intended to reduce impact on the landscape

Black-painted wood was used to clad the entire cabin to help it blend in with its surroundings, with the panels placed vertically to mirror the surrounding tree trunks.

It also complemented the cabin’s adjoining long and linear staircase, which is designed as a continuation of the small narrow path that meanders through the forest floor to the cabin.

“Ascending into the cabin is an essential part of the overall experience; therefore, we wanted to amplify this with a long linear staircase,” Jakonen explained.

“When arriving, you first approach the cabin after travelling down a narrow path deep through the forest – it takes you all the way to the first step of the staircase,” he continued.

“It creates an experiential moment where the wild nature slowly transitions into a secure, safe place, offering an entirely different perspective through which to take in the nature around you.”

The light-wood interiors of a woodland cabin in Finland
The interiors are designed to retain focus on views outside

Despite its remote setting, Studio Puisto’s aim for Niliaitta was to incorporate the same facilities that might feature in a modern hotel room.

This means the cabin is fully linked to local sewage, water and electricity networks, using discreet building services hidden below the external staircase, and incorporates a spacious shower and a kitchenette.

The light-wood interiors of a woodland cabin
The walls and ceiling are lined with light wood

Almost every surface is lined with light wooden panels, intended to retain focus on the unobstructed views of nature through the floor-to-ceiling window at one end of the cabin.

“The landscape that opens from this window intentionally dominates the rest, as the interior is done purposefully so that it would only serve as a neutral, blank canvas second to the nature outside,” concluded the studio.

The light-wood interiors of a woodland cabin in Finland
A spacious shower is among its features

Studio Puisto is a Helsinki-based architecture studio that was founded in 2010 by Jakonen, Emma Johansson, Sampsa Palva, Heikki Riitahuhta and Willem van Bolderen. The studio also recently developed an adaptable, prefabricated cabin that is designed to be built anywhere for use as anything from a garden office to a remote off-grid retreat.

Elsewhere in Finland, it positioned a house clad in black-oiled wood on the border between a lake and a dense spruce forest.

Photography is by Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres.

Project credits:

Architect: Studio Puisto
Structural design: BD-Con Oy
HVAC design: LVI-insinööritoimisto Jorma Niemonen Oy
Electrical design: Karawatski Oy
Wooden structures contractor: Laadulla Oy
Steel structures contractor: Jake-Man Oy
Interior fittings: Petri Leppänen

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