Helsinki- and Seinäjoki-based architecture firm OOPEAA was commissioned to realise the restoration and renovation of the Rauhalinna Mansion located in Savonlinna, Eastern Finland. The town is known for its medieval castle and opera festival.
With a rare combination of Arabic-influenced pillars and Swiss-inspired decorative wood-carved details, the Rauhalinna mansion, built in 1900, is a unique example of Russian style wooden manor houses in Finland. Within the restoration of the villa, a new guest house and sauna facilities by the lake have been built to accommodate the needs of visitors.
The shingle-covered guest house adjacent to the main building was constructed of CLT panels. In addition to the ground floor, the building has four spacious guest rooms. A speciality of the guest house is its series of windows, different in size and shape, some of which are decorated with a semi-circular arch. An eight-angled star polygon has been carved on the wooden ceiling above the staircase and main lobby, and the shape is also repeated as an ornament in bathroom tiles. This geometric shape is a reproduction of the figure found on the large, round window of the villa, where delicate panes form the same shape. Through its windows, the staircase lit by large, freely hanging glass lights, opens to an entrance yard located behind the villa on the upper slope.
The contemporary sauna building by the lake is a streamlined and bright example of the wood-framed leisure time architecture of the next generation. A smoke sauna built out of sturdy logs carved with traditional Finnish carpentry skills, and a timber store with log walls, are located next to the hospitality sauna. Both of the buildings have a boarded roof that represents Finnish wood construction.
Visitors to the Rauhalinna area get to admire a variety of Finnish wood architecture, including bold contemporary architecture that complements the old buildings.