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This sustainable cabin glows like a candle & was built using cross-laminated timber!

March 10,2023 by Jo Brown

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It is my first day back at work after a long weekend that I spent cabin hunting to alleviate my urge to travel. I found this sustainable wooden one called Kynttilä by Ortraum Architects which is Finnish for ‘candle’ – makes sense because it instantly gave me the warm cozy cabin vibes! Kynttilä’s linear shape with its triangular roof is pretty much like a geometric candle adaption in itself.

The cabin is built on Lake Saimaa and is right on the border of lush woods and endless serene water. The prefabricated cabin only takes one day to be assembled. Helsinki-based architecture firm constructed Kynttilä from cross-laminated timber (CLT) with the exteriors featuring larch board cladding. CLT is a wonderfully eco-friendly construction material that offers high strength and structural simplicity for cost-effective buildings. It has a much lighter environmental footprint than concrete or steel. CLT is also quicker to install, reduces construction waste on-site, improves thermal performance, with light handling duties making it better for health and safety, and is versatile enough to be molded according to different designs.

Kynttilä has a 15-square-meter floor space which is optimized for a short stay. It includes built-in furniture like the bed that is fitted on one glazed end and a ladder that leads up to a bunk bed above the door. The sweeping glass windows add openness to the small space and give a cooling visual contrast to the otherwise warm wooden aesthetic. Eaves overhang at both ends of the cabin to provide a sheltered, raised platform for sitting on or storage while also protecting the woodpile kept beneath.

“The space is strongly linked to nature, as the large window creates direct and intimate contact and communication with the surroundings. In the night time, like a candle, Kynttilä shines as a warm light on the lakeshore,” said Ortraum Architects. When you turn on the lamp at dusk, the cabin truly does glow like a candle in the untouched forest and that is why the team planned the most low-impact construction process they could to preserve the stillness of the environment. It is exactly the kind of off-the-grid spot we could all use to recuperate from 2020.

Designer: Ortraum Architects

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