The Filmmaker’s Hut is a “mystical” black hut overlooking a Finnish lake



Tar-coated wood shingles cover the walls and roof of this small cabin, which the architectural firm Pirinen & Salo designed as a studio for a filmmaker on a wooded site on the shores of Lake Porovesi in Finland.


Practice based in Helsinki Pirinen & Salo took inspiration from the “mystical” worlds of 1980s adventure films for the design of The Filmmaker’s Hut, which he describes as a “movie sanctuary”.

Top image: The Filmmaker’s Hut is located in a wooded site in Finland. Above: it is covered with tarred wood shingles

Set on a gentle slope along the crumbling foundations of an ancient stone building, the 15-square-meter studio is accessed via a wooden walkway that runs along the shores of the lake.

To create a sense of mystery and escape, the architect wanted The Filmmaker’s Hut’s age and size to be difficult to understand and therefore created a play of scale between the oversized shape of the gable roof, the window arched and small wood shingles.

The exterior of the filmmaker's cabin
The hut overlooks Porovesi Lake

“The path acts as a transition between the mundane world and the dreamlike world of creative work,” the studio described.

“The exterior of the small hut is an illusion. It is made to appear much larger than its physical size. This, in turn, makes the surrounding nature and landscape appear colossal.”

A cabin covered with black shingles
A black wooden staircase leads inside

A black wooden staircase leads from the stone foundations inside the cabin and directly into the workspace – a double-height barrel vaulted room lined with dark oak paneling.

On either side of the space are built-in desks and storage units in contrasting pale oak. These units feature a bookcase, sound system, and built-in leather sofa, as well as a black cast-iron fireplace.

Using the language of church architecture, the practice describes the center of the structure as the ‘nave’ and its offices as the ‘aisles’, while posters of client favorite films act as ‘the saints’. .

“The aisles are intended for work while the main nave has enough height and air for ideas, dreams and imagination,” explained the architecture studio.

“All technical devices that could reveal the actual age of the hut are carefully hidden to make the building appear ageless.”

A studio with a view of a Finnish lake
The workspace is arranged in a barrel vaulted room

At the rear of The Filmmaker’s Hut is a bathroom and tech store.

A wooden ladder leads to a small mezzanine designed for “catching ideas and daydreaming” while viewing the forest through a porthole.

In the filmmaker's cabin
A small mezzanine with a porthole is located at the rear of the cabin

The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked renewed interest in the spaces that separate work and private life in the absence of shared offices.

In Aarhus, Danish firm Sleth recently completed a copper-clad cabin workspace for an author, which focuses on creating a connection to its natural, wooded site. Elsewhere, Finnish practice Studio Puisto designed an adaptable prefabricated cabin to give people who were forced to spend more time at home during the pandemic a space to work or relax.

The photograph is from Marc Goodwin.


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