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The Documentation Of Vainontalo Farmstead

Part 1 Dissertation 2001
Maaria Mantysaari
Oskari Orenius
Mackintosh School of Architecture | UK
Documentation of Väinöntalo Farmstead

The initial inspiration for the documentation of Väinöntalo farmstead came from the fact that the side-chamber dwelling and the savutupa or smoke cabin are extremely rare and have not previously been fully documented in measured drawings or extensive research. The Väinöntalo farmstead describes the history of the development of dwellings in Ostrobothnia, in Finland, by providing two rare and complete buildings spanning a century and shedding light into the development of four walled log cabin construction in Finland.

Presently buildings constructed before 1945 constitute less than 9% of all existing buildings in Finland making Väinöntalo or Alperintupa, as it was originally known, and the savutupa or smoke cabin very rare survivors of previous times. The state of building documentation in Ostrobothnia on the whole is very poor despite action taken by the Finnish Department of Antiquities and the Finnish Architectural Association and numerous local governing bodies.

The work is a verbal and pictorial documentation describing in detail the history, construction and present state of the smoke cabin and side-chamber dwelling using Väinöntalo farmstead courtyard as an example. The Documentation of Väinöntalo Farmstead includes measured drawings of the smoke cabin and the side-chamber dwelling forming the farmstead courtyard. These measured drawings and photographs depict the farmstead courtyard outbuildings and dwellings both in winter and summer to make possible the appreciation of the buildings in their natural changing environment. The aim of the documentation is to provide an authentic description of the buildings as a part of a greater entity and representatives of their era.

Maaria Mantysaari
Oskari Orenius

The main part of the dissertation was the preparation of a particularly beautiful and witty set of precise measured drawings of the farmhouse, but the two students also submitted a bound volume containing reductions of the drawings in which the building was described and anaysed in detail and put into its wider architectural and historical context in terms of Finnish vernacular and Neo-Classical architecture as well as function and traditional ways of living. This text demonstrates a mature understanding of structure and of the evolution of appropriate detailing. The external examiner (Peter Inskip) was so impressed by the intelligent and resourceful use made of the research material that this dissertation was awarded the highest mark of any at the school this year (80%).

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