studio puisto’s ‘3-square house’ is a trio of interlocking volumes

despite being surrounded by a tall spruce forest, only one tree was removed to build this lakeside residence in south east finland. designed by studio puisto, the exact position of ‘3-square house’ was largely determined by the available views. ‘the more north you move on the plot, the more the lake landscape opens, on the other hand the shortest distance to the shore was precisely determined,’ says the design team.

studio puisto 3-square house
all images and video by marc goodwin, archmospheres



the building consists of three interlocking square masses. the main volume contains the living, sleeping, and dining areas, while the smaller ones house the sauna, garage, and technical facilities. ‘the basic idea behind the main mass is the core of the open square space, where all the fixtures are integrated and much of the functionality is located,’ explains studio puisto. ‘the core has been shifted from the coordinate system of the main mass so that the use of the spaces between it and the outer walls could be optimized.’

studio puisto 3-square house



the hallway, sleeping areas, entertainment corner, and study are located in ‘caverns’ created within this spatial distribution. ‘inside the core is a utility room, toilets and a walk-in closet,’ continue the architects. ‘there is no traditional division into rooms, but spaces can be separated from one another by sliding doors if desired. the nature of the spaces varies greatly due to large glass surfaces and powerful openings to the landscape.’

studio puisto 3-square house



referred to as ‘the most important element of the interior’, the ever-changing landscape remains visible thanks to a sun-blind which has been integrated into the outer surface of the wall structure. the home’s doors and windows are 2.3 meters high (7.5 ft). everything up to this height is either glass or wood that has been oil painted black, while everything above and below is pre-patinated sheet zinc.



internally, the core, with all its surfaces and fixtures, is oiled walnut. outside the core, the walls and ceilings, as well as the vertical structures, are black oil stained pine. the floor is made of black oil waxed oak parquet. the sauna and washrooms form a contrast to the dark main mass with paraffin-oiled alder on all surfaces. in addition, the shower has a ceramic tile that matches the wood.



project info:


name: 3-square house
type: residential home
address: southern savonia, lake saimaa shore, finland
client: private
architects: studio puisto architects ltd.
partners: mikko jakonen, emma johansson, sampsa palva, heikki riitahuhta, willem van bolderen
team members: pauliina kujala
start of design: january 2017
completion: october 2019


collaborators —
lighting design: lighting design collective
contractor: rakennuspalvelu ri-li oy
roof and façade zinc work: peltipeite
walnut surfaces and fixed furniture: TM team KY
photography: marc goodwin, archmospheres

philip stevens I designboom

jan 24, 2020

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