A Winter Oasis – Project LAP 226
At Rigby & Rigby we are feeling the Christmas spirit stir and when standing amongst the snowy landscape with frost enveloping the pine forest surrounding our new site in Lapland – the northernmost region of Finland – `nurturing the hope of spotting a wild reindeer, it is hard not to imagine the jingle bells. When one of our clients came to us with the proposal of building two new chalets in their beloved winter holiday destination of twenty-five years, the team were elated. Here was a unique opportunity to design what is truly a passion project for our client within a magical landscape where the winter light is a halo of powder pink and magic dust – formed from the crystalising of atmospheric humidity at negative temperature – floats in the air.
Lapland, Finland offers the epitome of wintertime activities, from husky sledging to sleigh rides with Santa with the ski slopes offering adrenaline-fuelled fun from November to April. It is not surprising that it is becoming an ever more popular destination for travellers from across the globe. Despite this rise in popularity, a sense of seclusion remains with vast expanses of uninterrupted views speckled with the traditional log cabins of the region. The Nordic culture is strong here, and it is possible to truly immerse oneself in a uniquely Finnish experience, from picking wild blueberries in late summer to relaxing in the sauna only to launch oneself (sans clothing if embracing true Finnish style) into pillowy mountains of snow.
Rigby & Rigby have been appointed in a Development Management and Interior Design role working alongside JKMM Architects, an award-winning Finnish architectural practice based in Helsinki, and Promen Ltd, a Finnish construction management company, to deliver two chalets of unprecedented luxury in the area. The chalets will provide a winter-time destination for our client’s family and friends offering extravagant comfort and a homely atmosphere. With the concept centring on bringing a connection to the landscape, the buildings bring a contemporary take to the traditional Kelo log construction found in Lapland. Large, carefully placed windows will offer picture-framed views whilst protecting occupant privacy and mitigating overlooking onto neighbouring properties. Fireplaces will feature in both properties providing a focal point to each living area and offering a cosy place to relax after a day in the snow. Winter day-light hours are short, so it becomes immensely important that the chalets offer a welcoming environment making the most of the natural light available and providing a balanced and considered artificial light to support morning and evening activity. The spatial arrangement considers both private and communal spaces providing settings for both entertainment and retreat including an open plan kitchen-dining area and a media room. Each chalet hosts its own spa allowing a ritual of bathing to occur whether to soothe tired muscles after a day’s skiing, or enjoy the warmth of a winter’s night in. The entrance into each chalet is designed sequentially to provide space to store skis, remove boots, and hang wet winter coats to dry before entering the main spaces within the house.
The interior design scheme brings together traditional Finnish craftsmanship with contemporary materiality creating a home that offers modern comforts whilst speaking of the place to which it belongs.
Ensuring the scheme is rooted in its locale enhances the experience of Lapland that our client has grown to love so dearly. As the concept continues to develop our team of architects and interior designers at Rigby & Rigby will provide direction to ensure that the project is delivered to the exceptional standard expected by all of our clients. Our interior design team will select materials that evoke the natural world, juxtaposing them with contemporary metallic finishes to bring elements of surprise and playfulness into the scheme as JKMM Architects continue to develop the technical aspects of the build.
The opportunity to visit the site and meet the local design team has created an efficient and friendly collaboration allowing creativity to take centre stage. With communication as a priority, we are able to effectively assist one another to deliver a considered and purposeful scheme that fulfils our client’s vision. With a full understanding of the project location and local culture, the properties will become rooted in their setting reflecting the traditional and the contemporary; the local and the international. A common goal is shared across the collaboration of design teams to create a spectacular winter home as enchanting as the landscape to which it belongs.
With completion set for late summer 2024, we are truly excited to take our client on the journey through the design and build of this exceptional proposal. With Christmas approaching, we reflect on our visit to Lapland, now sharing our client’s love and enthusiasm for this magical place where the air is the colour of cotton candy and magic dust brings the promise of a very Merry Christmas.
Renders provided are courtesy of JKMM Architects