Wave House by Seppo Mäntylä is a Finnish log house with a twist

Wave house finland seppo mantyla
Finnish architect Seppo Mäntylä has created a strikingly curvilinear house in the countryside
(Image credit: press)

Architects often say that projects can become testing grounds or in some ways, provide experimentation and inspiration for the next big commission. Finnish architect Seppo Mäntylä has put these words into practice with his latest residential offering, Wave House. 

The striking residence sits perched on a green slope by a lake, in the country’s tree-filled countryside, in the town of Mikkeli. Its design however, with its sweeping curves and large glazed expanses, was originally conceived for an earlier project in Moscow; a similar dwelling on a steep site orientated towards a captivating view. 

Sadly, that work never materialised, but it wasn’t without its supporters. ‘Mikko Vainionpää, the owner of house supplier Polarlifehaus Ltd, loved the design and showed a wooden scale model to everybody he met and people were amazed about the design’, recalls Mäntylä. ‘One of his friends was so amazed and crazy enough that he decided to build the house and the new plot was a perfect match with the wave house design.’ 

Wave House, in the South Finland town of Mikkeli

Wave House, in the South Finland town of Mikkeli, is a ‘log house with a twist’, says the architect. 

(Image credit: press)

Many things needed to be redesigned and adapted inside the house, in order for this to become a reality, but the original concept and shape remained the same. Now, Wave House is the remarkable home for a small family. 

The unusual shape and dramatic curves of the pine wood, single-level structure was inspired by motoring design, says the architect. However, the relationship of the house’s volume and openings and the surrounding nature was a key driver for Mäntylä. Creating the building out of timber was a big engineering challenge, but the captivating experience of walking through its carefully placed rooms makes up for it. 

A large, open-plan living area is situated towards the lake views, opening up into a generous cantilevered terrace. When the weather allows, it is always populated. The same views are shared with the master bedroom; more bedrooms are located on the other end of the long plan, overlooking the forest, while a sauna with a fully glazed wall ensures the signature Finnish pastime is experienced in direct visual contact with the beautiful natural surroundings.

Wave house seppo mantyla

The concept for this house was originally created for a different project in Moscow, and its evolved version was used in this family house commission

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Wave house finland by seppo mantyla

The house sits on a sloped site, cantilevering out over greenery and towards a nearby lake

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Wave house in finland by seppo mantyla

Generous outdoor areas make this home perfect for summertime lounging

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Wave house mikkeli finland seppo mantyla

The main living spaces are orientated so as to make the most out of the long views towards the water

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Wave house in mikkeli, finland seppo mantyla

The structure is a warm and luxurious family home

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Wave house in mikkeli, finland by seppo mantyla

Creating the dramatic curves out of wood was one of the project's biggest challenges

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Wave house in mikkeli, finland by architect seppo mantyla

Large expanses of glass ensure the interior is bathed in light year-round

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Wave house in mikkeli, finland by seppo mantyla, interior

The main level includes a large, open plan living space for sitting, dining and food preparation

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Wave house Finland interior

The rest of the house contains a master suite and a further three bedrooms

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Wave house finland

The structure's expressive character is its biggest achievement

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For more information visit the website of Seppo Mäntylä Architecture

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).