Architect Anssi Lassila de-signed House Riihi to run on Control Intelligence’s Talomat system, which enables the buildings to be powered by battery. “Often, we don’t know that there has been a power outage,” says resident Petri Mäkelä, “since the lights haven’t even flickered.” By designing the automation system and the house simultaneously, Lassila had maximum control over its integration.
Elina works beneath a series of skylights and LED spots from Zumtobel in her studio. At more than 16 feet tall, the locally fabricated windows benefit from aluminum frames, which can be substantially thinner than wood versions.
The couple wanted an efficient home made of recyclable materials. That attitude enticed Lassila, who usually works on a larger scale, to take on the project. “I knew I could give him free rein from the moment we met,” says Elina.
The studio fireplace is a custom design by OOPEAA, and one of the elements that will allow the house to go off the grid.
The living room includes a table from Normann Copenhagen, chairs by Annansilmät-Aitta, and Alvar Aalto’s A810 lamp for Artek, all on a poured concrete floor.
The three structures that make up House Riihi—its name references the local barns that inspired its form—are deceptively simple. A Talomat automation system from Finland’s Control Intelligence allows the family to turn on lights and unlock doors, and its battery means the house stays powered even in outages. Once a solar array is installed, the structures will be able to be unplugged from the grid completely.
The home comprises three structures: a main house, a garage, and a studio for resident Elina Försti, an artist. Local spruce cladding, metal standing-seam roofs, and aluminum frames mean the entire complex is recyclable. “Right now, it all looks very polished, but in the future it will develop a nice patina,” Lassila says.
A window seat provides a place to relax post-sauna.
For those looking to get smart, Petri offers simple advice: “Decide the level of automation you’re aiming for—then choose the system one level higher.”