OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture - Rauhalinna, a landmark for historic preservation
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Rauhalinna, a landmark for historic preservation

OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture

Renovation  /  Completed
OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture

The Rauhalinna Castle is a unique example of Russian style wooden castle houses in Finland. With a rare combination of Arabic influenced pillars and Swiss inspired decorative wood carved details, the castle with its surrounding parkland is landmarked for historic preservation. To bring new life to Rauhalinna as the active place of meetings and social life that it once used to be, a new guest house made of CLT was constructed to accommodate the needs of visitors, and two new wooden sauna buildings were added. In the restoration and renovation of the Rauhalinna Castle, it was important to strike a balance between the unique character of the old castle and the new buildings while also complementing the rich expression of the old castle with wooden buildings made with contemporary methods.

A new layer of architecture with a strong character of its own is added in a way that respects the unique qualities of the culturally and historically valuable milieu. The new guest house, Käenpoika, introduces a contemporary layer of wood architecture to the historical landscape. With its strong sculptural form and red shingle cladding, it engages in a dialogue with the other buildings in the yard. The carefully designed composition of openings continues the theme of deliberately framed views that is characteristic to the old castle. Like in the old castle, also in the new guest house each room offers a different view into the surrounding landscape and has a unique atmosphere of its own. By the lake, two new sauna buildings built in place of the old one delicately blend with the forest.

As a wooden building with a pitched roof, the new guest house brings together traditional methods of building and new ways of using wood. The load bearing structure in the new building is of CLT. This makes it possible to realize the construction in a time efficient and ecologically sustainable manner with minimal disturbance to the landscape during construction. The use of shingles in the façade cladding is a traditional solution that binds the new building together with the historical character of the castle. While the red color continues the traditional color palette of the other wooden buildings in the yard, the decision to paint the shingles red strongly deviates from the traditional way of treating shingles. In the interiors wood creates ideal conditions for temperature and humidity.

The Rauhalinna Casle is a wooden castle surrounded by parkland and forest in Savonlinna, Finland. With its rich ornamentation and intricate detailing, the Rauhanlinna Castle from 1900 is a unique example of Russian style wooden castle houses in Finland. With a rare combination of Arabic influenced pillars and Swiss inspired decorative wood carved details, it is landmarked for historic preservation as a culturally and architecturally valuable milieu. It was in need of repair, and its new owners decided to undertake a major restoration and renovation project to repair the main building as well as to bring the rest of the manor with its buildings to contemporary standards. The old sauna by the lake was replaced by a new one. In addition, a completely new sauna building was built. One of the saunas is a traditional smoke saune made of hand carved logs. The other one is a modern sauna with a fireplace room and a lounge. It is made of CLT. The aim is to improve the functionality of the castle in a way that recognizes and respects the unique qualities of the culturally remarkable milieu. Introducing a contemporary layer of architecture with a strong character of its own, an interesting dialogue between the richly ornamented old castle and the new buildings is created. The goal is to allow the old and the new to engage in a conversation with each other as equal partners each with their own voice. The project was realized in n close consultation with the National Board of Antiquities.

Rauhalinna is a culturally significant site. That is why I ended up buying such a lace villa, says Kyösti Kakkonen, the owner. The purpose of the restoration is to cherish the building in the future. Rauhalinna has been restored for high-level use respecting its tradition of hosting high-ranking visitors. In the restoration, an effort has been made to preserve the old as much as possible. The building technology is modern, and geothermal heating, sewers and a pumping station have been installed.


 The Kakkonen Companies
 Residence and retreat center
 1724 mq
 Anssi Lassila, Architect in Charge, OOPEAA
 Iida Hedberg, Project Architect, Team: Tanja Vallaster, Teemu Leppälä, Aki Markkanen
 Suomen Liikekiinteistöt SLK Oy
 Shingles for the new lodging: Saneeraus- ja Rakennustoimisto Vanhat Talot Oy (Julius Kotovirta) / Smoke Sauna: Hirsityö Heikkilä Oy / Painting work: Maalausliike Kupiainen Oy / Carpentry: Hirsirakennukset V.Sairanen / Restoration: Vanhaa Ossoo (Maria Luostarinen) / Building History Inventory: Selvitystyö Ahola (Teija Ahola) / Structural Engineering: Insinööritoimisto Timo Peltonen Oy (Timo Peltonen) Structural Engineering for the CLT Structures: Timber Bros (Antti Matikainen, Toni Väistö) HVAC: Redoman Oy (Antti Karttunen) Electrical Engineering: Sähköasennus Kuronen Oy (Petri Lappalainen, Jarmo Rummukainen) Landscape architects: VSU Landscape Architects (Saara Oilinki) Exterior Lightning Design: Valoa Design Ltd (Olli Juutila)
 Hoisko CLT (CLT structures for the new buildings) Domus Classica (wallpapers, VIA concrete tiles, lightning) ABL-laatat (tiling for the new buildings) Tapwell Oy (showers and faucets) Helena Orava Design Projects (Tailor made lightning for the Käenpoika building)
 Marc Goodwin


OOPEAA works on a wide range of projects from churches and public buildings to housing and urban visions. There is an active focus on research and a strong emphasis on the development of socially and ecologically sustainable solutions on all scales, from individual buildings to blocks of affordable housing and visions for entire cities. The office is based in Seinäjoki and Helsinki, Finland. Their work connects innovative ideas with traditional materials. A feeling for material and an interest in optimising the use of it is important to them. A desire to find solutions that take advantage of the natural qualities of the chosen materials has informed their work from the earliest projects on. Their objective is to create architecture and milieus that are functional, technically and ecologically sustainable, of aesthetically high quality, and committed to the location. A willingness to courageously explore new ways of doing things and solving challenges is at the core of their work.



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