politaire erects wooden cabin in finnish forest with locally-sourced materials

politaire erects wooden cabin in finnish forest with locally-sourced materials

among the dense scandinavian forest next to a peaceful lake, lies the cabin ‘small but fine’. berlin design duo politaire comprised by jonas becker and timm bergmann created an unexpected little dwelling in finland, where they believed ‘it was important for us not to dominate nature.

all images © andré boettcher



it was important for the designers to experience the construction process first-hand in addition to designing the cabin. staying under their limited budget of $14,000, they designed and built almost everything themselves. ‘sitting on the roof yourself, pulling a stovepipe through the ceiling and then sealing the roof — that’s something else. we wanted to experience these processes instead of just planning them,’ bergmann says. their design is complex but has a simple, minimalist effect.



the staggered design provides different views into the surrounding vegtation from each window. the four slightly offset rooms are spread over 26.8 sqm (280 sq ft) and surrounded by an impressive natural landscape. the rooms are arranged in a cascading layout, each one leading on to the next. starting with on the left, the kitchen opens to a small living room, which then leads users to the bedroom and the sauna. the rooms are identical but rotated in relation to one another.



as we built everything ourselves, we not only cut costs, but we were also able to make changes along the way. as a result, we extended the terrace, built the roof… and made the stovepipes ourselves,’ bergmann explained. the house’s modular frame allowed the designers to build and install all 17 squared lumber frames themselves. then they added plywood boards for rigidity and connected them to each other with other types of wood.



sourcing mostly local materials, the students managed to mainly work with wood or wood-based materials. the result is sustainable, locally produced, economical, long-lasting and reusable. the students said they ‘wanted to show that a house does not have to be big…building something beautiful does not have to be expensive.’ their values are reflected in the design and proves that a sophisticated aesthetic doesn’t have to come at a steep price. 



project info:


project name: cabin – small but fine

architecture firm: studio politaire

contact e-mail: [email protected]

architecture firm instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studio_politaire/

completion year: 2017

gross built area: 30 sqm (323 sqft)

project location: finland

photo credits: andré boettcher

photographer’s instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreboettcher/

video credits: hornbach



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

  • Excellent. Compared to some of the oddball shapes, like A-frame, this is a great layout and use of space. I could easily upgrade and live there myself. Good one.


    Jimmy Xi says:
  • Very fine. 🙂

    Rich says:

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