Log house living with three generations
18.12.2017 BY SANNA HUOVINEN
The Savukvartsi log house was completed in the summer of 2015 at the Housing Fair in Vantaa, Finland. It’s an ecological log home, designed for three generations. Now the builder family – Jaakko and Elizaveta Parkkonen with their two sons – has lived in the two-apartment log home with Jaakko’s parents for over two years. Has the self-designed dream home and life with three generations under one roof met the family’s expectations?
The architects Jaakko and Elizaveta Parkkonen wanted to build a healthy, ecological and safe home for three generations. This goal determined their selection of materials, structures and house technology systems. The two-apartment log house was designed so that the apartments can be combined if the family’s needs change in the future. A modern log house was an excellent fit for this purpose, and it has clearly fulfilled the builder family’s wishes.
DESIGNERS LOVE THE LOG HOUSE FOR GOOD REASONS
For the Parkkonen family, the foundation of good living is having a healthy and comfortable home, both from the architect’s and the resident’s perspective. They believe that in the midst of everyday challenges, every family member should feel empowered by the time they spend at home.
It is also important that the esthetic and operational solutions are enjoyable and functional, so that the family can concentrate on living their life, without troubles related to the home. The Savukvartsi home also helped to achieve the family’s ecological goals; being rated class B for energy efficiency, the log house’s carbon footprint is remarkably small.
As a building material, log has a wealth of benefits. It provides a natural and humane scale and atmosphere to the building. Log is a breathable material, and when used correctly, it guarantees excellent indoor air quality and healthy wall structures. Being massive wood, log is also highly wear-resistant, which is a helpful feature especially for a family with small children. Authentic wood has a calming effect, and small signs of living aren’t overly conspicuous on the organic surface.
A MODERN THREE-GENERATION HOUSE IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE
The Parkkonen family – grandparents, parents and children – are extremely satisfied with having three generations under one roof. The model of three generations living together used to be very common in Finland, and it deserves a renaissance. Different generations living in the same house but in separate apartments provides a variety of advantages.
The smaller of the two apartments in the Savukvartsi house is on the ground floor, and it is the home of Jaakko’s somewhat aged parents. Elizaveta, Jaakko and their two small boys live in the larger apartment, which also includes a shared living space. The bedrooms of the young family are upstairs, where there is more privacy.
Living under one roof brings ease and safety to every family member’s daily life. The children can freely visit their grandparents, which is important to the boys and a source of joy to the grandparents.
According to Elizaveta, living in a three-generation log home has been everything the family hoped for. Life has become easier and more enjoyable.
A home that you’ve designed yourself, the beautiful views and the natural lighting give esthetic joy. The ecological house and the house technology decisions we’ve made have kept our costs of living at bay. Functional household management solutions have made everyday life so much easier, and the indoor air quality in the log house is such a delight every time we come home. To us, it’s also important to have close ties between generations, having grandparents and kids in ours and in each other’s lives.
THEIR FIRST PRIVATE LOG HOME INSPIRES THE ARCHITECTS’ WORK
The atmosphere of the Savukvartsi home engages all the senses: it is full of light, freshness, comfort and peace. In addition to beautiful spaces, the house has soft acoustics, quietness and clean indoor air with a fragrant hint of wood.
The best part is that when we get home, we don’t want to leave.
The Savukvartsi home is the first house that the architects have built for themselves and it continues to bring inspiration in their work. There are endless alternatives for a home’s interior design, and Jaakko and Elizaveta find it professionally rewarding to try out new ideas. Even though now the family’s life is everything they hoped for, the architects constantly come up with new avenues of thought. Elizaveta says that if they one day decide to build another home for themselves, they will most likely design something quite different. But it too will be a log house, because she thinks that other building materials simply don’t have as much to offer for her home.
The Parkkonen family chose Honkarakenne because they wanted a trusted partner with long experience of the industry. They also valued the company’s ecological and modern solutions to building with log – they wanted a non-settling log structure with delicate seams. The Savukvartsi home is the basis for the Honka Savu model, which works well even on smaller urban sites.