Moomins, world-renowned design and saunas. Finland is certainly a spectacular country with many faces. The natural environment is something special too. They know all about that in the town of Saariselkä in northern Finland, about 1,000 kilometres from Helsinki.
Here, entrepreneurs Juha Mehtäjärvi and Katja Kivilahti have given new life to an approx. 800 square metre log cabin built in the 1970s. A cabin located in a magnificent forest in hilly terrain. The cabin has been transformed into a lodge, Jávri Lodge, with first-class accommodation for 26 guests, exclusive décor and the best flavours from Nordic cuisine.
“Our target group comprises couples who travel a lot and are interested in ecology and high quality. As they have seen a lot, they are looking for new experiences and sensations,” says Katja Kivilahti.
Teemu Pirinen architects were responsible for the design of the log cabin’s new upper floor, which consists of four modern suites with great views of the countryside through three-metre high windows.
The former log cabin has been completely refurbished apart from the original pine beams.
“It was challenging to combine modern solutions with an old building. We wanted to highlight Scandinavian trends and community in the interior design,” says Katja Kivilahti.
In the bathrooms, the team chose linear drains for the shower cubicles. The original intention was to retain the old floor drains in Jávri Lodge, but the hotel switched from electric to geothermal heating, and a Custom solution from Unidrain was the perfect answer.
“They work fantastically well with a simple décor. The linear floor drain also made it possible to lay large floor tiles, 800×800 mm. In the finished bathroom floor the linear floor drain is almost concealed,” says interior designer Päivi Räihä.
He also emphasises the small number of joints and ease of maintenance, which is a major advantage in day-to-day operations with many guests.
Not a regular hotel
At Jávri Lodge, guests arrive, soak up experiences and continue on their way. The hotel does not have a regular reception, and many other hotel clichés have also been dropped.
Conversely, a sense of community is one of the essential features. This can be clearly seen in the restaurant, where all of the guests eat their meals at the same table.
“It was a challenging project, but the end result is a beautiful, functional hotel. Customers have been very interested in learning more about the heating, WC and shower facilities, as well as our choice of materials,” concludes Katja Kivilahti.
Text: Leena-Kaisa Simola
Photos: Jávri Lodge Hotel