casagrande laboratory: apelle house, finland casagrande laboratory: apelle house, finland
may 07, 2013

casagrande laboratory: apelle house, finland

‘apelle house’ by casagrande laboratory, karjaa, finlandimage © adda zeiall images courtesy of marco casagrande




dubbed ‘the boat’ a single family home on a bedrock-ridden site uses the traditional finnish notion of ‘tupa’ or multifunctionality to create a consolidated architecture that is a mediator between the surrounding forest and domestic life. the latest project by international practice casagrande laboratory capitalizes on the tradition of finnish carpentry and craftmanship to create a continuous chamber of space with an adaptable program. while the wooden construction is in dialogue with a gesture of black brick, the material palette both blends with and invites the forest into the home.


the flexible notion of ‘pirtti’ or ‘tupa’ reframes the dwelling as a place for eating and socializing that can quickly change into a studio space or gym. notions of collective actions and private actions are blurred within the lightly partitioned volume, favoring bands of light that admit ribbons of glazing to act as dividers between rooms. the insulation provided by the wooden construction is supported by two fireplaces. structural support for the main structure lies in a smaller apsidal volume that acts as an outrigger. in this way, the use of maritime concepts pervades the very construction of the space; additionally, two local carpenters that specialize in ship-building fabricated the home in the manner they would a boat. 

views of the wooden envelope as slats admit light image © adda zei

black brick bolsters the material palette of the home image © adda zei

round windows support the maritime concept of the space image © adda zei

image © adda zei

view of the smaller, ‘outrigger’ volume that structurally supports the main space image © adda zei

view of the entrance overhang image © adda zei

a gesture of black brick is in dialogue with the horizontal wooden slats image © adda zei

the beginning of the ‘tube-like’ space image © adda zei

the living area gives way to the dining area and kitchen image © adda zei

bands of light and glazing partition the space image © adda zei

image © adda zei

the home is characterized by a high level of adaptability image © adda zei

interior view shows a restrained color palette image © adda zei

round windows above a flexible work space image © adda zei

image © adda zei

the architect also designed the integrated furniture image © adda zei

kitchen view image © adda zei



project info:


casagrande lab team: nikita wu, jan luksic, shreya nagrath, arijit senconstruction manager: bengt öhman / lu-rakennusmaster carpenters: ingolf westerholm, jens nylundfurniture design: marco casagrandefurniture prototype master: mirella peltonenlocation: karjaa, finlandsize: 140 sqmmaterials: wood, black brickcompleted : 2013

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