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Villa Samurai

Villa Samurai

Kangasala, Finland | View Map
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Private Houses
Antti Ahlava

Villa Samurai

Helsinkizurich as Architects

A log building, built in 1951, has been extended to create a new residential unit. The name of the house refers to the desired atmosphere and dynamism of the building. The design concept was a four-storey-high building with a very steep roof plane. The roof is like the slash of a samurai sword.

Another aesthetic goal was to give an architectural interpretation of the mind-set of the so-called Helsinki School of Photography, an existential movement of photography. Our thought was this: how would Helsinki School of Photography appear if it was about architectural creation? We think that it should be simple, simultaneously bohemian and Spartan, romantic and ascetic. It could be called almost sacral, but it can also depict everyday life in a mood of sacredness. It should preferably be colourless, but it can never be mediocre. The images showing Helsinki School of Architecture should deliver a feeling of loneliness likewise with the photography movement.

The project involves also an innovative building technique. The roof was first built in the horizontal plane and then, using huge hinges, gradually turned upright. This removed the need to climb on the roof.

The interior balustrades are an expressionistic artwork. A variety of unique uses of wood have been experimented within the facades, such as scaly planks that curve longitudinally. Part of the facades has been subdivided into cassettes in accordance with the bearing structure. The facade boarding was made sustainably from the scaffolding used during the building construction by sawing the planks on site into scantlings.

The Japanese garden surrounding the building is due to be completed in soon.

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