News Home & Design Floating Finnish Cabin Connects Guests to the Forest Balanced on a single pillar, this dark timber cabin blends into its surroundings, and offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the woods. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast on February 01, 2021 LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process on February 1, 2021 10:16PM EST Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Wherever you look, even in the midst of a pandemic-related slump in the travel industry, the concept and practice of ecologically responsible tourism is becoming more and more mainstream nowadays. According to one survey, 87 percent of people indicated that they aim to travel in a more sustainable way, with 39 percent saying that they often or always manage to do so. While there are a number of possible strategies to ensure a more environmentally friendly trip – such as opting for taking a train rather than an airplane, or "traveling slow" – it's also important to choose accommodations that have been built with sustainability in mind. Of course, these standards for sustainability can vary widely depending on where one goes, but it's heartening to see that consumer trends are changing and that the industry is responding to meet the demand. One popular eco-tourism destination is Finland, which has a reputation for pristine landscapes and is famous for the national penchant for sweating it out in saunas and camping in style, all surrounded by nature. Going along those lines is Helsinki-based Finnish firm Studio Puisto, which recently designed this black-painted timber cabin in the middle of the forest for a new eco-resort in Kivijärvi, near Salamajärvi National Park. Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres Hidden among the trees, the firm's Niliaitta cabin prototype sits on top of a single column, giving it a mysterious aura. Because it has been elevated off the ground, it also means that the cabin has less of a direct impact on the forest floor, and fewer trees had to be cut down. Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres This change in height also changes the experience of guests, thanks to a long staircase leading up to the entrance. As project architect Mikko Jakonen explains on Dezeen: "Ascending into the cabin is an essential part of the overall experience; therefore, we wanted to amplify this with a long linear staircase. When arriving, you first approach the cabin after travelling down a narrow path deep through the forest – it takes you all the way to the first step of the staircase. It creates an experiential moment where the wild nature slowly transitions into a secure, safe place, offering an entirely different perspective through which to take in the nature around you." Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres The prototype is based on the traditional elevated hut of the same name that the Sámi, the Indigenous peoples of the northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, used to store and protect their food reserves from animals. Though it's situated out in the woods, the Niliaitta cabin still features all the same amenities as any hotel room, such as running water, electricity, and a fully functioning bathroom and kitchen. In addition, some of its greener features include an efficient air source heat pump to heat and cool its interior, eco-wool insulation, and the minimization of plastics, and the generous use of wood, a renewable and durable building material. Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres The cabin's layout is simple and is based around a central, enclosed "core" housing the kitchen, bathroom, closet, and large shower. Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres The open area includes the bedroom, which is graced with an enormous window that is oriented out into the wilderness, and is designed to maximize the occupants' visual connection to nature. As the firm says: "The landscape that opens from this window intentionally dominates the rest, as the interior is done purposefully so that it would only serve as a neutral, blank canvas second to the nature outside." Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres This Niliaitta prototype is but the first of 25 that will be built as part of the eco-resort. The idea was to construct smaller, self-contained suites rather than a larger building, so that there is less impact on the land. Besides these cabins, there are plans to also build a sauna and conference center. Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres The ultimate goal is to provide an uplifting experience to guests, while aiming to achieve it in a sustainable way, says the firm: "The idea is that by simply retreating away up in the air, we feel immediately detached from our everyday worries happening on the ground. The contrast between the wild nature and a safe, cosy interior space is emphasized throughout, strongly guiding the overall experience." To see more of Studio Puisto, check out their website, Instagram, or their previous work in readapting a bank into a hip hostel.