The coastal area around the Finnish community of Velkua presents any number of difficulties when it comes to completing an architectural project. Even smaller residences can take years here. However, for the design and construction of Villa Mecklin, the team at Huttunen-Lipasti-Pakkanen architects was glad to give itself a little more time:
"In early spring 2004 we travelled over the frozen sea to the island plot of a friend of ours in the archipelago municipality of Velkua. Our intention was to precisely determine the locations of the buildings we had sketched in the rocky island terrain. We had our ice fishing gear along with us, and once we had caught enough fish we moved with our tape measures to the plot. From the very start the set-up for this project differed from the norm. The buildings were built at a leisurely pace, and thus we were able to study the construction details and develop them on site, sometimes while fishing, having a sauna or relaxing during the evenings.
Villa Mecklin has mainly been a self-build project. Contract documents or complete working drawings were not necessary because any problems were resolved on site. Construction was made easier by designing all parts, from the frame to the details, to be as simple as possible. The building materials selected for Villa Mecklin are uncontrived, basic ones suited for the archipelago. All wood surfaces have been left untreated and will turn grey naturally."
In the midst of the archipelago
09 June 2011
The VILLA Mecklin is set amidst a landscape of scattered islands in the archipelago off the coast of southwest Finland
Villa Mecklin in the archipelago of Velkua, Finland | All photos © Risto Huttunen, Santeri Lipasti, Pekka Pakkanen Architects