Ice cool: a contemporary retreat in the heart of a winter wonderland

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On the particular shores associated with Saimaa, Finland’s largest river, surrounded simply by pine, fir and birch trees, rests an slanted, architect-designed home, black upon the outdoors, shiny whitened inside (and, once the particular snow happens and the particular lake stalls, white most of around, too). A three-hour drive north-east of the particular capital, it is the nearly full-time house of upon the market journalists Leena Karo plus Seppo Toivonen. As properly as the particular architect involved is their particular son, Tuomas Toivonen, which built their parents’ home in 08.

The concept was in order to create the family home large sufficient for Leena and Seppo to reside in yr round (they also possess a even in Helsinki) and pertaining to Tuomas, their sister Roosa, a film director, plus their households to spend time right now there, too.

“In winter, we would live the particular start associated with the 7 days in Helsinki, doing social things plus helping along with the 2 grandchildren, ” Leena states. “But simply by Thursday, we all drive upward here, preventing in the small town on the particular way just for groceries. Within summer, all of us move right here entirely. ”

It’s remote control enough in order to feel such as a suitable get away in the town, however, not therefore far since to really feel isolated: the particular nearest city, the provincial capital Mikkeli, is 40km away, plus is encircled by over 40, 500 summer homes. Leena plus Seppo have got neighbours, yet are not able to find their homes or lighting. In wintertime, however, they are generally the just people residing in the location.

Leena’s short to the girl son has been for any big central residing area, exactly where everyone can be jointly; large lake-facing windows; since well since for the house however another simple meal in order to keep spending organised, plus would become warm whenever they showed up. Tuomas set up geothermal heating system and the large wood-burning stove in order to ensure the particular house has been livable within year-round, as opposed to most summer season houses.

On the center of the particular house is usually definitely a good open-plan living/dining space, using a small galley kitchen plus a spectacular image window along with views through the trees and shrubs and river. Alongside the particular other walls are versatile “tatami rooms”, inspired simply by Japanese residing (their daughter-in law Nene is through Japan). In the daytime these offer spaces in order to retreat in order to with the book, yet because associated with movable doorways and wall space, can end up being changed directly into guest sleeping rooms. Mattresses plus bedlinen are usually stored within built-in cabinets. Additionally right now there is the guesthouse throughout the road. “Our children’s friends usually use this, and also our own son’s parents-in-law, visiting all of us regularly through Japan, ” Leena states. “In summer time, I established a breakfast time table upon the patio between the particular houses. ”

Although the particular floors, wall space and ceilings are whitened, colour stems from the pair associated with Artek couches that Leena and Seppo bought within the earlier 1970s, the burnt-orange carpet from The other agents, and the wall associated with books. Important to maintaining the region free associated with clutter, Leena says, can be “huge quantities of storage”.

Towards the particular lake shoreline is actually a spa – the Finnish basic piece. They go swimming regularly throughout summer, plus in winter season, the family members, including their own four- plus 11-year-old granddaughters, possess the sauna after which dip inside the frigid lake, by means of a little hole reduce into the particular ice. The particular water will get down in order to 1C. Seppo includes the dip along with no spa every early morning. “You really feel so superb afterwards, ” he states.

The house provides the welcome alter of speed for your few, that are usually active retired people. “We’re therefore busy within Helsinki, that people love visiting the country to read through more, view TV, spend attention in order to the stereo, cook, plus socialise along with friends a lot more intensively, ” Leena states.

It is not really all of relaxation, nevertheless. Within the particular past 5 years, these people have already been writing plus editing news letters and journals for your summer season residents within the state, to assist make all of them feel section of local existence.

But whenever winter arrives, they punch back. “I lie in the sofa, examine my guide, light the particular fire, viewing the snowfall fall, ” Leena states.


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