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 A R C H I T E C T U R E

Villa S | 2023-2024

Location: Würzburg, Germany
Client: Private
Status: Commission 2023, under study 2023, approved 2024
Program: Feasibility study for new housing on an existing urban plot
Use: Single-family or two-family house
Size: 250 m2 (building) + 36 m2 (underground garage)
Site area: 1200 m2
Gross floor area: 250 m2
Floor area: 210 m2
Materials: Red brick
Design: Studio Karanka for FIN-GER

Villa S is a feasibility study for condensing & compressing new housing to an existing urban plot in Würzburg. Playing around with an idea of upcycling used bricks produced an interesting concept for sustainable construction and expressive façades. The study continues with alternative materials and 3D-modelling of the ground and possible future building forms.

Villa Riedmiller | 2021-2023

Location: Würzburg, Germany
Client: Private & PolarLifeHaus
Status: Commission 2021, building permission 2021, under construction 2022-2023, completed 2023
Program: Single-family house
Use: 4 rooms + kitchen + sauna
Size: 247 m2 (building) + 36 m2 (carport) + 43 m2 (Kleinwohnhaus)
Site area: 987 m2
Gross floor area: 247 m2
Floor area: m2
Materials: Wood + concrete
Design Team: Juhani Karanka (Studio Karanka) &
Johannes Arndt (baubüro Arndt2)

Villa Riedmiller is located on a steep hillside facing a beautiful panorama of the valley below. A tiny post-war house from 1959 is still standing on the plot and it will preserved as part of the site history and culture. Now the descendants of the original family decided to have a single-family house designed in Nordic Style and to be built out of Finnish wood. The new Villa Riedmiller follows the frontline of the original Kleinwohnhaus and the ground floor is planned on the same level in respect to the silent knowledge of earlier builder generations. The new building will be constructed of massive wood from Finland, and the roof will covered with 157 m2 of green in order to compensate for the ground area lost by construction.

Villa Lusi | 2020-2023

Type: Lakeside vacation villa
Client: Private
Site: Lakeside plot 11 000 m2 (land 8670 m2, water 2330 m2)
Size: Villa 255 m2 + Garage 39 m2 + Lakeside sauna 56 m2
Location: Hattula, Finland
Status: Commission 2020, building permission 2021, under construction 2021-2023
Team: Studio Karanka

Villa Lusi is located by Lake Vanajavesi, Finland. The family purchased an old settlement building that used to function as a summer holiday camp for girls. Over time they have renewed and renovated with love and care the 1960s building as their lakeside vacation villa with a sauna right by the water. Now the owners wished for further renovations inside the main building, extensive outdoor terraces and a new garage. All the buildings are made out of wood, and most of the renovation and construction work is done by the family themselves.

Villa Leonard | 2020-2023

Type: Additions to an existing 1960s single-family house
Client: Private
Site: Hillside plot 1078 m2
Size: House 275 m2 + Modules 48 m2 + Garage 50 m2
Location: Würzburg, Germany
Status: Comission 2020, building permission 2020, completed 2023
Team: Studio Karanka, TRAGRAUM, baubüro Arndt2, PolarLifeHaus

Villa Leonard is a co-created architecture project to design new additions (Modules) to an existing 1960s single-family house. The basic concept is to imagine the House as a Mothership to which all the new Modules dock in various ways. The challenges are multitude: How to design in various microcontexts using massive pre-cut wood, and at the same time take into account the balance between old and new parts that form the new entity without loosing the beauty of the original House. The Modules include Papillon (Butterfly) as the childrens playroom, Diner with an all-around window & skylight, Bibliothek (Library) with a 180° view to the garden and Gartenhaus (Nest) as a creative space for writing. The Garage is designed as a sidekick to the House and Modules: Out of wood, low in scale and all façades in green colour.

Sauna Kolo | 2019-2023

Type: Experimental prototype
Client: Studio Karanka
Size: 1,54 m2
Location: Würzburg, Germany
Status: Concept 2019, Design 2020, Prototype 2021, Completed 2023
Team: Studio Karanka, B & U Inc., PolarLifeHaus

KOLO (Hole in Finnish) is an experimental prototype for a Hell Hot Balcony Sauna for two Saunanauts. This Tiny Sauna is made out of wood from Finland and transported to Germany as a space filler at the back of transport truck carrying a bigger pre-fabricated log house. The door, windows, benches, and details are selfmade on site to give individual character to the final look. The stove is electric (230V), and it can be plug-and-played to a standard electric outlet. The prototype is a hybrid design combining high-tech, ready-made and DIY.

Mühlenhof | 2016-2021 | Permission

Type: Comission
Client: Stiftung Helga Schott c/o Juliusspital Stiftung Würzburg
Size: 6 apartments
Location: Würzburg, Germany
Status: Comission 2016, building permission approved 2021
Team: Studio Karanka & Matthias Braun (FIN-GER Architecture)

The Mühlenhof project is a design with complexity and contradiction. It is multilevelled housing inspired by the medieval buildings and their varied architectural styles, and totally modern apartments with open floor spaces allowing the users to decide on the usage of their own spaces. The apartments are on three levels, with the studio/shop/office on the ground floor, living, cooking, dining on the first floor and sleeping on the top floor. The individual apartments are housed behind two different styled white metal facades thus offering a play between form and function, views and windows as well as breaking up the logic of "reading" what's behind the face of the building.
Another level of design is related to the urban context. A brand new passage connection is opened throught the small inside courtyard between the frontside main street and a pictoresque backalley. This complex mix between public, semi-public, semi-private and private places is continued in front of all the entrances to the individual apartments as a stoep, where the inhabitants can place thier own green plants, benches, etc.

LOK - Bahnhof Rottendorf | 2015-2023

Type: Collaboration project with Jäcklein Architekten
Client: Town of Rottendorf
Size: Old railway station + new multipurpose hall
Location: Rottendorf, Germany
Status: Competition 2015, design 2019, building permission approved 2021
Team: Jäcklein Architekten, Studio Karanka & Matthias Braun

Town of Rottendorf arranged an architectural competition for the renewal of their railway station in 2015. After winning the competition, Jäcklein Architekten was comissioned to do the architectural designs for the renovation of the existing station and for a new multipurpose hall. The modern and minimalistic extension presents an exposed concrete facade imprinted with the image of the orginal Rottendorf locomotive towards the tracks. This composition between old and new will give identity to the station and town which is highly visible to the train travellers on the main line between Frankfurt and München.

Echter Quartier | 2019 | Project

Type: Invited competition
Client: Juliusspital Stiftung Würzburg
Size: 8000 m2
Location: Würzburg, Germany
Status: Idea 2019
Team: Studio Karanka, Matthias Braun & Norbert Geisel

This invited architectural competiton searched for a new building design housing medical services, offices and residential apartments to the city district of Hubland, Würzburg. Our proposal was based on contextual structuralism, where the medical services were located in a cross-shaped white glass building (Remedium), offices in a local muschelkalk-stone terraced building (Weinberg) and housing in wooden buildings (Holzvilette). The structured order of spaces provided plenty of flexibility for changes in user preferences while the references to local materials and landscapes of surrounding vineyards bound the new buildings to the Würzburgian genius loci.

Sauna S1 | 2017

Type: Experimental DIY-sauna
Client: FIN-GER GbR
Site: Bürgerbräu Old Brewery
Size: Sauna 1,5 m2 + outdoor showering area 0,9 m2
Location: Würzburg, Germany
Status: Concept 2017, design 2017, built 2017
Team: Studio Karanka, Matthias Braun & Kasimir Karanka

Sauna S1 is an experimental Tiny Sauna for two persons designed and built out of EUR-palettes (1200 x 800 mm) at Bürgerbräu Old Brewery in Würzburg. Directly next to the site is a small pond with fishes, and during the summertime a lot of mosquitos to enhance the Finnish summer sauna atmosphere.

LUX | 2010-2013

LUX | Pirkkala | Finland | 2010-2013 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Single-family house on an artificial landfill by Lake Pyhäjärvi.

Fotoni | 2010-2012

FOTONI | Tampere | Finland | 2010-2012 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Single-family house designed and built to the Housing Fair 2012 in Tampere.

Mäntylä House | 2009-2011

MÄNTYLÄ HOUSE | Tampere | Finland | 2009-2011 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Single-family house on a long and narrow suburban site for a professional ice hockey player.

Dyfät | 2007-2011

Location: Leppälahti, Finland
Client: Private
Type: Summer residence
Program: 4 rooms + kitchen + lakeside sauna
Materials: Massive wood (exterior painted black, interior painted white)
Plot area: 6100 m2
Gross floor area: 203 m2
Floor area: 129 m2
Status: Commission 2007, building permission 2008, completed 2011
Team: ArkkitehtuuriAteljee Karanka & Tamminen

DYFÄT is summer residence with a guest house, lakeside sauna and traditional outdoor toilet - all with great views to the surrounding Nordic nature. The buildings were all made out of massive Finnish wood and painted black on the outside, and white on the inside.

Arcus | 2006-2011

ARCUS | Lempäälä | Finland | 2006-2011 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Single-family house in the countryside with curving walls made out of Finnish wood.

Sorjonen House | 2005-2008

SORJONEN HOUSE | Pirkkala | Finland | 2005-2008 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
House for a family of four on a large forest plot. The family wished for a "small Finnish house", normally meaning something in the range of 120-200 m2. During the design process the program evolved to an ever growing project eventually becoming a "small" house of 500 m2. The overall concept and individual design solutions were inspired by the site and by the Italian landscapes and towns in Toscana.

Sauna Noki | 2005-2006

NOKI sauna | Helsinki | Finland | 2005-2006 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Small extension to an existing 60s single-family house in Helsinki inspired by railroad wagons close by. The lounge, bathroom and sauna were built as a wooden frame building with a pitch black exterior, thus the name Noki (Finnish for soot). This tiny sauna building turned its back towards the street making it a positive barrier against noise and opened up views to the lush green garden improving the quality of privacy for the family.

Versta | 2003-2006

Location: Hyvinkää, Finland
Client: Private
Type: Single-family house
Program: 3 rooms + kitchen + studio + sauna
Materials: Wood (natural gray / painted light gray) + red brick (whitewashed)
Plot area: 1005 m2
Gross floor area: 177 m2
Floor area: 143 m2
Status: Commission 2003, building permission 2004, completed 2006, published Arkkitehtilehti 5/2008
Team: ArkkitehtuuriAteljee Karanka & Tamminen

VERSTA is a small house for two seniors, who wished to work in peace at the opposite ends of the house. The curving walls produced an interesting acoustic space via which the couple could whisper to each other between the studio and office. The outdoor terrace area, with a fabulous apple orchard view, functioned as an extra “room” that was accessible from both sides of the house. This home and studio was published in Arkkitehtilehti 5/2008 and Houses in Finland 2011.

Taipale House | 2002-2008

TAIPALE HOUSE | Vantaa | Finland | 2002-2008 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Small house for a family of four designed with unique rooms, views, connections and outdoor areas. This house rests totally on steel columns that penetrate the soft ground all the way to the bedrock some 30 meters below. The complex floor plan offered a true challenge for figuring out the shape of the roof. Now the solution looks easy, but at the time it was really a puzzle to solve.

Arvaja House | 2000-2007

ARVAJA HOUSE | Tampere | Finland | 2000-2007 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
House for five persons and built by the family themselves. The inspiration for the floor plan came from the husband’s profession: ice hockey. Mika’s ice skates were lying on the drafting table during one ideas session, and suddenly everything just slid into the right place. We even placed a little round window to the tip of the shoe. This was the first time that the design work was conducted over the Internet, while the family was away in Germany for a year due to ice hockey. Upon their return, the family DIY the whole building. Impressive achievement!

Pentti House | 2000-2003

PENTTI HOUSE | Teisko | Finland | 2000-2003 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Summer house and a separate sauna building by the lake. The family wished for an unique design made out of massive wood, and this idea hopped off the drawing table. The main building pivots around a skylight and a central fireplace with lakeside views, while the tiny sauna building has its own genre with straight, zig-zag and curving forms. The hand-drawn designs were interpreted to CAD & CAM by Honkatalot, which produced all the pre-cut massive wood parts and constructed the buildings according to the wishes of the family. 

Salkolahti House | 1999-2004

SALKOLAHTI HOUSE | Kangasala | Finland | 1999-2004 | Atelier Karanka & Tamminen
Small house designed for four persons, and built by the family themselves. One of the architectural ideas was to play around with the "classic" archetype of a house, by kicking it in the corner in order to distort the conveyed image. It worked out surprisingly well. Only one corner was designed in an angle of 90°, but during the construction work it turned out to be an angle of 89°, which - luckily - made the family very happy. On this worksite, the best bricklayer ever, was the baker, who normally baked cakes in the village. In 2004 House Salkolahti was awarded the Best Building Prize by the municipality.

Vinokas | 1994-1995

Location: Lempäälä, Finland
Client: Private
Status: Design 1994, building permission 1994, completed 1995
Program: Wilderness Atelier
Use: 1 room + 1 atelier
Size: 16 m2
Site area: 1000 m2
Gross floor area: 16 m2
Floor area: 11 m2
Materials: Wood (natural) + clay blocks (reinforced with hay)
Design: Juhani Karanka & Titta Tamminen
Special Contribution: Ceramic Artist Marika Björklund

This heart-shaped Wilderness Atelier was designed and built as an addition to an existing 18th century log cabin deep in the forest. Part of the original wood wall was rotten, so we decided to use this as the connection point between the old and new. The Atelier roof was constructed on three massive wood columns with a triangular skylight and long eaves to protect the free flowing walls. The on-site clay and hay was used as building materials for blocks that made up the walls, interior and exterior surfaces. And all the needed drawings for this project, including the building permission, was hand-drawn in ink on one single sheet of paper! Oh, those were the days!

Hertell | 1993-1994

Location: Hämeenkyrö, Finland
Client: Private
Status: Design 1993, building permission 1993, completed 1994
Program: Summer residence
Use: 4 rooms + kitchen + lakeside sauna
Size: 80 m2 (building) + 20 m2 (sauna)
Site area: 1000 m2
Gross floor area: 120 m2
Floor area: 65 m2
Materials: Wood (painted) + metal (copper)
Design: Juhani Karanka

Hertell Summer Residence. Ink on Vellum. This axonometric drawing in scale 1:50 was part of the building permission plans for additions to an existing summer house in Finland. The family dreamed of a tower and a fishtail-shaped bedroom with a bathroom to upgrade their old cabin by the lake. The additions and the renovation of the original cabin was built mainly out of local wood by a team of carpenters, smiths and copper roof makers. The romantic project turned out to be a lot of fun for all, and the family still uses the place as their summer home.

Kaunis Veera| 1988 | Competition

Location: Savo Finland
Client: SAFA Open Architecture competition
Status: Competition 1988, published 1989
Program: Summer home
Use: 3 rooms + kitchen + sauna
Size: 80 m2 (building)
Site area: imaginary
Gross floor area: 80 m2
Floor area: 65 m2
Materials: Wood (natural)
Design: Juhani Karanka

Publication: Arkkitehtuurikilpailuliite, SAFA, Helsinki. 1988.

Kaunis Veera | Finland | 1988 | Juhani Karanka
Competition entry for a Savonian summer cottage (Savolainen mökki) architecture competition. The design is based on the famous song about the Beautiful Veera combined with a wood cottage shipwrecked on the rocky lakeshore. All drawings were done with pencil and watercolours. Didn‘t win or get a prize, but made it in to the competition publication. Few years later, one of the competition jury members designed a poor copy of Kaunis Veera, which was even published in the Finnish Architecture Magazine Arkkitehtilehti. Ship shape!

Flexibo | 1985 | Competition

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Client: Nordic architecture student competition
Status: "Palladio i Norden" Competition 1985, honorary mention 1985, published 1985
Program: Single-family house
Use: 4 rooms + kitchen + sauna
Size: 120 m2 (building) + 20 m2 (storage)
Site area: imaginary
Gross floor area: 120 m2
Floor area: 110 m2
Materials: Wood (natural) + stone (insulated) + earth
Design: Juhani Karanka & Ahto Ollikainen

Publication: Ekelund, Christer. Palladio idag, Liber Förlag, Stockholm. 1985.

This tiny model (1:200) was submitted to the Palladio i Norden -competition in 1985. The competition brief asked for an affordable detached house for an unspecified site, suitable for mass production and/or prefabrication, inspired in one way or the other by the famous villas of Italian 16th century architect Andrea Palladio. Flexibo received a honorary mention for innovative ecological design and modern interpretation of Palladio’s architectural language. The concept for the required villa was turned upside down, embedding the small house underground and integrating it as a part of the surrounding landscape. It is interesting to reflect, what has happened since 1985.

Wall House | 1985-1987

Location: Kangasala, Finland
Client: Tampere University of Technology & Kangasala Vocational School
Status: Competition First Prize 1985, building permission 1986, completed 1987, published 1987
Program: Single-family house
Use: 4 rooms + kitchen + sauna
Size: 142 m2 (building) + 30 m2 (storage)
Site area: 921 m2
Gross floor area: 142 m2
Floor area: 115 m2
Materials: Wood (natural gray / painted light gray) + red brick (whitewashed)
Design: Juhani Karanka

Special Contributions: Sculptor Mauno Kivioja, painter Lauri Ahlgrén
Publication: 3/1987 Tiili-magazine, Art-Print, Helsinki. 1987.

WALL HOUSE is based upon the winning entry to an architectural competition arranged at the Department of Architecture at the Tampere University of Technology. This experimental house was built out of wood and bricks in cooperation with the 16-year-old students of Kangasala Vocational School. The slowly curving massive brick wall was made by following two simple rules: “Please shuffle the bricks 20 mm in and out of the main line and avoid any regular brickwork patterns.” For a 22-year-old student of architecture, it was an interesting experience to follow your own design evolve into a built building. When returning back to the academic world, everything seemed somehow out of touch with the outside world and real life. The positive experiences that everything was possible at the construction site were quickly buried underneath thousands of arguments against doing anything except a boring box.


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