Villa Riviera represents traditional carpentry at its best. As its name suggests, the villa is located next to a beach by Lake Saimaa.
When the owner was selling his lakeside plot, he promised to put the buyer in contact with a good architect. He contacted me in May 2010. A few days later, we visited the site by boat. The weather was perfect, and so was the plot. The owner asked me to design something special for such a beautiful location.
After several drafts, I came up with an idea. I prepared a miniature model, finalised my draft and met the owners of the future house on the site in Kyläniemi. We had a long conversation in the shade of the pines on the plot. We decided to move the master bedroom upstairs; apart from that, the draft was ready.
I presented the design to the local construction inspector. He said that he had never seen a house like that before. He approved the design, as it complied with regulations.
At the request of the owner, I asked two carpenters who I knew to build the house. The project was challenging, but I had worked with the same carpenters before and knew that everything was in good hands. The carpenters started their work in the spring of 2011. The house was completed in the autumn of 2012.
The house was built entirely on-site. Its structures were designed by Oskari Laukkanen. I have collaborated with him on all of the houses that I have built in Finland. The pillars are made of Glulam, and the beams are made of Kerto wood. The long main beams in the roof are made of steel. The material used in the wall and roof surfaces and terraces is Siberian larch.
The house is based on a simple idea: I placed various types of spaces under a large roof that appears to be floating. I have executed variations of the same theme before, but the location and scale always shape the design. When designing, my guiding principle has always been that nothing is mundane: every moment can be magical.
Project in brief
Holiday House Villa Riviera
- Location | Kyläniemi, Taipalsaari
- Purpose | Summer house
- Constructor/Client | Private
- Total area | 170 m2
- Architectural Design | Arkkitehtitoimisto Olavi Koponen
- Structural design | Rakennussuunnittelutoimisto Turunen&Raisanen
- Pääurakoitsija | Risto Karjalainen and Jyri Liukkonen, kirvesmiehet
- Photographs | Jussi Tiainen
- Text | Olavi Koponen