OOPEAA arranges house riihi around courtyard in finnish countryside
photo by jussi tiainen
all images courtesy of office for peripheral architecture

 

 

 

designed by finnish practice OOPEAA (office for peripheral architecture), the ‘house riihi’ is comprised of three buildings arranged around an inner courtyard, with vertical spruce slats wrapping the exteriors. this combination, along with the volumes’ forms, subtly reference traditional finnish farms, serving to provide a vernacular identity to the architecture, which located in the small village of alajärvi.

 

the structures are separated based on their programs: the main residence, the atelier, and the garage. these volumes are united by their exterior form and timber slat cladding, which will naturally gray over time to help the dwelling further blend into its landscape. the courtyard contains a garden, which is protected from the valley’s harsh northerly winds.

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

the building configuration creates an inner courtyard protected from the valley’s winds
photo by jussi tiainen

 

 

 

each of the three structures has diverse interior qualities. the garage and hobby space is left simple, with a sense of anonymity. the atelier contains high ceilings and white-painted wood surfaces which produce increased illuminance.

 

the main house is furnished and clad with radially-sawn spruce, creating a warm and cozy environment. the main public activities are united in a central open area, with a prominent fireplace separating the kitchen and living room. this large concrete volume includes a narrow staircase with alternating treads, which steeply climbs to an intimate upper mezzanine. many wide windows throughout the residence allow for plenty of views to the inner courtyard and countryside context.

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

the house’s main entrance is located under the cantilevered roof (at right)
photo by jussi tiainen

 

 

 

the residence has been designed for reduced energy usage, with the possibility of living without dependence on the power, water, and drainage grids. in contrast to the wood façades and structure, the roof is clad in untreated aluminum. the three buildings can be entirely heated by four heat retaining fireplaces, which also produce the hot water for the house.

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

various breezeways connect the inner courtyard to the surrounding context
photos by jussi tiainen

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

the façades are covered in vertical timber slats
photo by jussi tiainen

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

the public activities are united in a central open area, with a prominent fireplace separating the kitchen and living room
photos by jussi tiainen

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

from the living room, an alternating tread staircase accesses the mezzanine above
photo by jussi tiainen

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

the atelier walls and ceilings are clad in white-painted wood boards
photos by jussi tiainen

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

a glass curtain wall façade faces the rural landscape and provides plentiful daylight
photo by jussi tiainen

OOPEAA house riihi designboom

photo by jussi tiainen

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

location: alajärvi, finland
floor area: 239 sqm + 120 sqm + 120 sqm
project dates: 2010 – 2014 (completion)
architect in charge: anssi lassila
project architect: jussi-pekka vesala
design team: iida hedberg, hanna-kaarina heikkilä, tommi heinonen, juha pakkala
photography: jussi tiainen