Construction11.10.2011

The KOKO house is complete – right down to the yards

The fencing around the yard also reflects Tapio Anttila’s personal style.

The fencing around the yard also reflects Tapio Anttila’s personal style.

Interior architect Tapio Anttila’s KOKO house project started less than a year ago. It’s the end of September now, and the architect who planned and decorated his house is sitting on his backyard deck, in Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair, pondering the purchase of a lawn mower.

- I wonder if I should cut the lawn before the snow comes. It’s quite long already, says Tapio Anttila, fresh from winning two awards at the Habitare furniture, interior decoration and design fair.

He says this has been a decisive year for him in many ways. After having lived his whole life in Helsinki, he decided to move with his family closer to the peaceful countryside – into a house he built himself, no less. At the same time, the architect’s career skyrocketed.

- The building project turned out to be less stressful than I had imagined it would be, Anttila says.

Naturally it entailed a lot of work, although I mostly took care of scheduling the work and various materials purchases. The end result turned out exactly as it should and we have been enjoying our new house tremendously.

Minor finishing touches

The KOKO house was built fast, in only six months. Over the summer, the Anttilas built a covered backyard deck that spans nearly the entire width of the house, as well as an outdoor kitchen. The fencing around the yard also reflects Tapio Anttila’s personal style. The elegant outdoor furniture and fencing are being considered for possible sale as elements in future.

- If we had had even a few weekends free in early autumn, we would have had the house 100 per cent ready by now, down the last mouldings. There are a few things missing here and there, but when my other work slows down a bit, I will be able to put the finishing touches on the house.

It doesn’t look like Anttila’s calendar will free up any time soon, as during the autumn he will take part in a number of events taking place outside of Finland. Budapest is hosting a private exhibition called Finnish White Light, which will showcase Anttila’s lighting product designs inspired by the long, dark Nordic winter nights. And the designer will participate in collective exhibitions in London, Cheongju, and St. Petersburg.

In between these events, he plans to relax at his home and enjoy the steam of the sauna – just about every night.

- After living in the house for a few months, we have discovered many pleasantly surprising features in the technical solutions we have used. In summer, the air source heat pump cooled the whole house very nicely; and now in the autumn, the heat-retaining fireplace and air ventilation system equipped with heat recovery have sufficed as the only source of heat. We have only had the radiant floor heating on a few times, and even then, mostly just to test it out. The rooms function well in every way and the lighting has also proved to be really well thought out, Anttila sums up.

Tapio Anttila has also designed the outdoor furniture of his house.

Tapio Anttila has also designed the outdoor furniture of his house.