In early spring 2004 we travelled over the frozen sea
to the island plot of a friend of ours in the archipelago municipality of
Velkua. Our intention was to precisely determine the locations of the buildings
we had sketched in the rocky island terrain. We had our ice fishing gear along
with us, and once we had caught enough fish we moved with our tape measures to
the plot. From the very start the set-up for this project differed from the
norm. The buildings were built at a leisurely pace, and thus we were able to
study the construction details and develop them on site, sometimes while
fishing, having a sauna or relaxing during the evenings.
Villa Mecklin has mainly been a self-build project.
Contract documents or complete working drawings were not necessary because any
problems were resolved on site. Construction was made easier by designing all
parts, from the frame to the details, to be as simple as possible.
The rocky northern cape of Mustaluoto Island shelters
a boat marina on its eastern side. On the west-facing plot there are tall trees
growing in the humus that has gathered in a narrow rock crevice. Otherwise the
surroundings consist of exposed rock and low vegetation: moss, grasses, heather
and juniper bushes.
The buildings were placed amidst the shelter of the
narrow zone of trees. The main building sits in a small depression in the rock,
its sheltered terrace extending over the summit of the rock. One arrives from
the harbour to the entrance of the main building sheltered by the trees. After
a descent of a couple of steps, the expansive landscape of the western shore,
with its long vistas, unfolds. A fireplace has been sunk into the centre of the
large terrace, accessed via a hatch in the decking. When the fire is not lit
and the hatch is in place, it is possible to use the whole terrace as, for
example, a dance floor. In connection with the shoreline sauna, there is also a
stove-heated cabin for guests.
The building materials selected for Villa Mecklin are
uncontrived, basic ones suited for the archipelago. All wood surfaces have been
left untreated and will turn grey naturally.