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Copper in the woods

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Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper and larch cladding together define the natural character of a contemporary home, nestling amongst the treetops on the Island of Hirvensalo, part of the Turku archipelago in Finland.

Locally-based Sigge Architects’ design sought to reconcile their client’s need for a permanent working home combined with the essential characteristics of a Summerhouse for leisure. The Finnish Summerhouse epitomises ‘mökkielämä’ or ‘cottage life’, with its tradition of treading softly on the land and respect for nature. The three-storey building – known simply as ‘Villa L3’ – was envisaged as a deceptively simple modern structure with clean lines and a certain stature. A restrained palette of natural materials enables it to sit comfortably in its elevated location within a gently sloping forest.

The Entrance Level contains a garage and private areas including office, bedroom, bathroom and – of course in Finland – a sauna. Service areas and storage are accommodated in the Lower Level. An open staircase leads from the entrance to the Upper Level, a fully open-plan living, cooking and dining space commanding stunning views towards the sea and city of Turku beyond, while also enjoying southern glazing to catch the low sun.

The Upper Level is conceived as a distinct copper-framed ‘box’ mass, oversailing the recessed Entrance Level ‘pedestal’. Here, Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper was chosen, structured with vertical seams. It sits naturally alongside the larch batten cladding, which adds warmth, and responds to the exceptional natural surroundings. Sigge Architects CEO Pekka Mäki said: ‘We have worked with Nordic Copper on other projects around Turku before. We found that Nordic Brown gives a natural dark brown that is both familiar and well-suited to its surroundings. The Nordic Brown will gradually age with dignity within the forest’. 

Nordic Brown provides the same oxidised brown surface that otherwise develops over time in the environment. The thickness of the oxide layer determines the colour of the surface finish, with darker or lighter (Nordic Brown Light) shades of brown. Nordic Brown gradually changes over time to a stable dark chocolate brown.

A growing series of ‘copper stories’ – building studies exemplifying the best in contemporary architecture – showcase the diversity of surfaces, forms and applications available with Nordic Copper today. For more information visit: or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photo – Antti Leino