It’s not fair to say that spatial designer Aleksi Hautamaki and graphic designer Milla Selkimaki hit the jackpot, because they worked hard for their success, and tons of research and effort went into Project Ö, their cabin in Finland’s Archipelago National Park, but when you look at what they’ve built…hard not to see flashing lights and a row of 7s.
The couple have been working on the project for two years, but the search for the right spot to build went on longer than that: five years. “The overwhelming amount of islands in the archipelago could make you think that there are plenty to choose from,” they write. “But the reality is that it’s very seldom when good ones come on for sale.”
Once they settled on the paw-shaped island, they had to figure out the siting. Both bays provide shelter from the wind, but the narrower and deeper west bay is calmer and a better place for their kids to swim. The eastern bay became the mooring cove for their small boat.
The two structures house guest rooms, sauna, and workshop. They’ll sleep ten, yet take up just 750 square feet. “The vision was to have all things necessary with as little space as possible,” they said. “All individual spaces have been designed to be as compact as they can be without compromising the functionality and comfort.”
From an energy/water standpoint, the five-acre island is self-sustaining. Electricity comes via solar panels. Seawater is filtered for drinking water. The cabins have running water (heated via the sauna stove, which also heats the floors), flushable toilets, heating, cooling, and a full kitchen. Their latest project has been to build a series of wooden walkways to protect the island’s vegetation, which they document here.