—Mom, dad,… You´re architects, aren´t you?
—And you make houses for people?
—Yes, of course,…
And then comes the key question:
—So why don´t you do a house for us?
In such a situation, there are two possibilities: find an excuse to avoid it, or promise them that you will make a house especially designed for them."
Such was the situation in which Anna and Eugeni Bach (Bach Arquitectes) found themselves in recently, and thus promised to build a house for their kids on their grandparents farm in Finland.
The cottage is mainly based on a section: the structure is very simple, repeated in two equal modules but oriented in opposite directions. One of these modules is double-height (to the scale of children), which allows an adult to enter the house without having to bend. The other module has two levels, connected by a simple ladder allowing a more complex game inside.
The interior becomes what children understand as an essential house: a larger space that could be the living room, a lower space where the kitchen could be imagined and a higher ground where there could be the rooms. The abstract nature of the interior spaces allows a child's imagination to flow, and those spaces that could be identified as a domestic interior can suddenly become play spaces.
For the structure and the floors were devised using spruce wood from the grandparent´s farm, from trees planted by family members in the past. The rest of the wood was bought at a local hardware store, from small wood sawmills in the area. Structure, floors, walls and roof are made of wood, using traditional construction techniques used in Finnish barns, such as leaving a nail distance between slats to ventilate the house, or a roofing system made from a simple overlapping of grooved wooden planks to prevent the ingress of water.
Only a small galvanized flashing helps protecting the wood cuts at the facades.
From the outside, the house acquires the presence of an almost abstract object, without reference to the scale; while inside, you can identify the prototypical section of a childish house, with the typical symmetrical roof, like the typical houses kids draw
These strips liken the volume it to a fair house or an old beach changing hut, although according to the architects "in this case, its location in a rural environment, surrounded by apple trees, the house has a more dreamlike character."