Arctic TreeHouse hotel is an experiential, nature-focused hotel resort located in the heart of the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland.
The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel project started with a concept design that was developed in close cooperation with the client. The brief was clear: a resort that would give its guests an enriching experience of the Arctic magic of the region. The inspiration for the accommodation concept — set on a steep natural slope — came from Nordic nature and culture. A vision started to form: small individual accommodation buildings carefully set in the natural environment, their spirit highlighting characteristics of the area and creating an optimal setting for experiencing both nature and arctic mysticism. The accommodation units, shingle covered pine cone cows, rise on their black stick legs among the rocks and trees. They wander downhill, peering curiously at the landscape and northern lights.
The buildings are carefully planned warm nests. The contrast between wild, adventurous nature and a safe, hideaway-like point of refuge has been a guiding element of the whole design. The decor has surprising and deliberate details that tie it into the area and its experiential concept. The soft, warm materials used in the interior design highlight the nest-like atmosphere.
One of Studio Puistos main challenges was the Nordic climate, harsh winters, wet summers, and a fragile nature that recovers slowly. Therefore, the ecological footprint of the materials and technical solutions used had an important impact at every step of the planning and building process. Details, such as green roofs on each building to compensate for the building’s footprint’s worth of vegetation that was lost to construction, are thoughtfully aimed to mitigate and minimize the ecological footprint. Similarly, the sustainable wood on the interior surfaces creates a tactile, cozy environment, healthy indoor air and pleasant acoustics.
A key aspect to the design of Arctic TreeHouse Hotel is how guests truly feel a sense of exclusivity and individuality in the accommodation experience. Studio Puisto feel that our connection to nature is a deeply personal one and is best experienced alone. Therefore, Studio Puisto designed the architecture and interiors with a user-experience lens, really narrowing there design focus to foster a special, individual experience every step of the way. The resulting architecture is one that accommodates many different user groups yet ensures an unparalleled level of privacy and immersion to each guest at the same time.
Since the distinctive, extraordinary nature of northern Finland is what attracts tourism from around the world in the first place, it was very important to design the architecture in such a way that it would blend into the fragile environment with as minimal of an ecological footprint as possible. The accommodation units, shingle-covered pine cone cows, appear to grow in equilibrium with the nature, rising on black stick legs among the rocks and trees. Similarly, the main building of the hotel takes inspiration from a snowflake and its functions are spread out over five ‘fingers,’ making the building appear smaller among the arctic backdrop. When it comes to the ecological footprint, each building has a green roof to compensate for the building’s footprint’s worth of vegetation that was lost to construction while sustainable materials, such as wood, are incorporated both on the exterior and interior. To keep the existing landscape intact and spare any damage to the fragile ecosystem, the on-site construction was minimized – the units were instead constructed elsewhere and placed when nearly completed.