About This Project

A pyramidal roof culminating in a fully glazed nature observatory is the central feature of Pyramid House. This wooden building is based on a square footprint and simple geometry.

Pyramid House sits on the shore of Lake Päijänne, in the Municipality of Sysmä (Finland).

The house has a total gross floor area of 125 smq. It is split between ground floor and mezzanine floor. A 10 meter long lake facing glass wall dominates the interior of the house and a double height open space living area overlooking the lake.


Challenges and solutions


The owner of a beautiful plot stuck between a mountain forest and a lake in Finland wanted a house with a distinctive character. First of all, the must-have requirement was to combine the comfort of a contemporary lifestyle with tight connections to the site, which presented  beautiful natural features.
The solution was a wooden building designed around a pure geometric shape. The design balances clean contemporary lines, traditional materials and complex spatial solutions.

Above all, the house takes advantage of the outstanding beauty of its surroundings by creating special connections. Pyramid House is also designed to be suitable for different seasons and activities.

Building permit was granted in 2014 and construction work was completed in 2016.


Design features


The main feature of Pyramid House is the fully glazed observatory at the top of the building. From here, it is possible to enjoy unobstructed views of the beautiful surroundings. Furthermore, this space is conceived to appreciate the peace and quiet offered by the views. It is also almost as a mountain top from where to dominate the internal spaces of the house as a whole. It certainly represents the focal point of the whole building. As a result, natural light filters from the apex of the pyramid through the multiple internal levels of the building.


Looking down from the observatory, the house also shows its multiple levels stacked against each other. A fully glazed wall immediately facing the lake is another visible feature when looking down from the top. This glass wall puts the double height main living area in direct connection with the lake. Most noteworthy, the living area is split into two levels. This solution was adopted to better adapt to the existing steep terrain and also to clearly define the internal functions.


Finally, an elliptical staircase wrapping around a stone fireplace gives access to the balcony level. This is a unique feature of the full height living area.


Outdoor areas


Terrace decks articulate around the whole perimeter of the building. They are laid on different levels due to the pace of the surrounding terrain. The partial protection of wooden screens defines the several functional areas of the terrace. The terrace is therefore suitable for different times of the day.




Pyramid House is equipped with floor heating combined with ground-source heat. Its timber frame construction clad in spruce is insulated with natural materials. The wall and roof construction achieve a thermal performance that guarantees an optimal level of comfort. This is true even during the rigidly cold Finnish winters.


Other facilities comprise a gallery kitchen, guest bedroom, sauna and two bathrooms. Furthermore, the house is also fitted out with smart internet-connected devices. These systems allow full remote control of features such as access, lighting and heating levels.


Project type

Leisure accommodation


Sysmä, Finland




Architectural design
Lead design

Engineering and Delivery


Timo Laaksonen

Architecture, House, Residential