Dovetail log cabins are a true classic, bringing rustic style and beautiful craftsmanship together with stunning results. Often used with hand-hewn square logs, this corner style is rarely seen outside historic structures and residential construction – so it’s refreshing to find it not only in a commercial application, but set against an industrial backdrop.
Designed by Studio Puisto as an extension of the Dream Hotel across the street, this striking structure is actually a sauna envisioned as a “communal living room” for the community in Tampere, Finland. Set within an old industrial red brick neighborhood, the 540-square-foot facility takes over a former customs checkpoint turned warehouse building full of hard, cold concrete and glass.
In keeping with the building’s history and raw materials, Studio Puisto maintained a minimalist design with pale gray cabinetry, concrete floors, exposed ductwork and clean-lined furniture. But all of these elements could have had an unwelcoming vibe if not for the addition of so much pine.
Naturally, the stacked log sauna in the center of the room is the main attraction. It’s made of pine from top to bottom, including the benches inside. But pine is also seen in the knotty built-ins of the locker rooms, the long dining tables in the cafe, the slatted screens providing filtered daylight and privacy and the modern chairs and tables strewn throughout the space.
“The resulting architecture embodies a sense of nostalgia, carrying out a lively, complementary dialogue between the two,” say the architects. “The resulting ambiance is a calm, peaceful one that creates a resounding appetite for sauna from the moment one steps inside.”
Design: Studio PuistoPhotography by Riikka Kantinkoski
This prairie style live/work studio set into a hilly 35-acre site in Wisconsin may be made of insulated concrete forms, but its interiors have the warmth and character of a timber structure thanks to interiors almost entirely clad in wide-plank Eastern White Pine. Architect Kyle Dumbleton of Midwest Modern LLC prioritized the selection of natural materials that are durable and long-lasting for the modern home overlooking the historic Wisconsin River Valley. That led him to a collaboration with a Carlisle Wide Specialist to find just the right wooden elements for the job.
When working with materials like concrete in a residence, it’s more important than ever to balance their cold, hard materiality with something rustic and organic. There are lots of reasons to choose Eastern White Pine, not the least of which is its sustainability, but in this case, the way it weathers over time is especially prized. Though its knots are muted by a dark stain to give the space a contemporary feel and contrast with the lighter surfaces, it will transform with age and use, giving the home a sense of history despite its newness.
Carlisle notes that Eastern White Pine is an especially smart choice when installing directly over concrete thanks to its flexibility as a softer wood. The material is carried up the walls and onto the ceilings for a cohesive effect that dramatically alters the feel of the space. Imagine how different its mood would be if all of its walls were white concrete or drywall instead.
Dumbleton envisioned the home as a study of opposites made of high quality materials that give it the status of a family heirloom. The passive solar design and high performance shell work in tandem with in-floor radiant and geothermal heating.
Furniture designers have favored pine as a primary material for centuries, taking advantage of its beauty, sustainability and versatility to create such time-honored classics as the Windsor chair. That love continues unabated into the 21st century with fresh, modern designs (and beloved mid-century modern pieces, which are virtually timeless nearly a century later.) With streamlined silhouettes and high quality materials, these 6 modern pine furniture designs found on AllModern.com prove that softwood is always in style.
Eco-Friendly Pine Bench
Available in 22 colors, from dusty rose to a clear varnish that lets the pine’s natural beauty shine through, this eco friendly picnic bench folds flat for easy transport and storage. Eco-friendly and 100% made in the U.S.A., this bench features stainless steel hardware and is shipped in packaging made from recycled materials.
Solid Pine Lighted Display Cabinet
Stained with a weathered charcoal finish, this dramatic cabinet with built-in lighting lets you show off treasured objects through its two glass doors. It’s made of solid pine and aged iron metal hardware, with three adjustable wood-framed glass shelves and dovetailed drawers.
Brimfield Pine Console Table
The elegant simplicity of midcentury modern style makes it easy to integrate into virtually any home. This pine console table is made of sustainably sourced pine, with a beveled solid pine tabletop creating a sunken tray-top surface.
Solid Pine Hammock Stand
Reminiscent of boat-building techniques, Vivere’s 15-foot solid pine hammock stand is classy and comfortable, with a weight capacity of 450 pounds. Its curving frame is finished in natural wood oil to protect it from harsh weather conditions.
Eco-Friendly Pine Platform Bed
The solid pine used to make this modern loft-style platform bed is sustainably sourced and finished with a non-toxic sealant so you can sleep more soundly at night. It’s available in gray, weathered finish or a warm wood tone.
Bramble Coffee Table
A solid pine tabletop adds a rustic feel to an industrial steel base in the Bramble Coffee Table by Mercury Row, now on sale for the budget-savvy design enthusiast.
Conceived as a series of pine boxes visually connected to the pine forest outside, this modern home in Spain frames its striking wooden interiors like works of art. That’s fitting, because they pretty much are. Designed by architect Ramón Esteve, the home is set in a vineyard in Fontanars dels Alforins, Spain on the outskirts of an urban area. Esteve says he took the traditional typology of the rural house with a gable roof and applied it to “a new spatial concept.”
The result is unlike anything you’ve ever seen: a monolithic cathedral-like volume with a concrete exterior shell and high, pine-lined ceilings. The interiors are interspersed with individual pine-clad volumes holding various private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms, each one feeling like a showcase of wood – warm and yet minimalist.
The furniture, cabinets and fireplace surrounds are made of the same pine, all custom-crafted for the project. A large, open-air room on one end creates a breezeway effect, with views of the forest in one direction and the vineyard in the other.
“Environmentally, it follows the guidelines of a passive house. It has suitable means to take advantage of renewable energies through the use of panels for solar collection, energy supply from biomass or the collection and sustainable storage of rainwater suitable for consumption,” says Esteve.
“The access to the plot is a path wrapped in olive trees. In the background you can see the house, hidden among clusters of cypresses, poplars and pines. The entrance to the house is through one of the boxes. The central concrete space forms a common fluid area to which the rest of the rooms turn and is presided over a large chimney. Inside, the views are framed in the pine volumes that invades the central space. When conceived as a second residence, both the boxes and the porches are completely closed when the house is not inhabited.”
It’s gorgeous no matter how it’s installed, but the possibilities for using Eastern White Pine to add a pop of color, texture and warmth to an interior wall go way beyond traditional treatments. Have you thought about creating an accent wall to contrast other materials, and taking a modern approach that shows off the material in a novel way? Sheets of plywood, vertical slats, sections of two-by-fours arranged like bricks and even bark-clad wall paneling bring us fresh new ways of looking at interior uses for this softwood.
This apartment by Netherlands-based firm i29 Interior Architects goes geometric with interesting cut-outs framing a full wall clad in white pine, and the theme continues through the stairwell and into the bathroom as a series of built-in cabinets.
These ‘Rustix Woodbrix’ white pine tiles by Rustix Creations are tongue-and-groove milled to lock together, and machined individually for a textured look that enhances the wood grain. Here, they’re installed to mimic the iconic look of subway tile.
Bark House, a company based in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, offers designer white pine bark wall paneling for a look that calls to mind weathered, rusted iron or panels of leather from afar. Step closer and you’ll start to notice all the beautiful textural details of the bark, still speckled with green lichen and small knots.
A small cliffside residence in Switzerland by K_M_architektur is covered in white pine inside and out, making the wood the main visual component to set a tranquil tone. The architect chose white pine for its minimalist appeal, particularly evident in the bedroom where it can be seen in three different forms.
When is a beach house not a beach house? You could argue that when it’s not located on a beach, it doesn’t count. But when an architectural typology that’s almost exclusively located on the water is moved to another landscape – like the mountains of Chile – it retains the kind of breezy, open feel that lends itself to associations with salty air and seagulls. Architecture firm WHALE! took this idea one step further by basing the design of this modern pine home on the visual of a stranded whale.
Doesn’t sound too pleasing, does it? But even if the metaphor doesn’t quite work, the house itself most certainly does, unfolding in a series of stunning minimalist pine spaces directing your gaze right out the giant floor-to-ceiling windows. The three-bedroom house is set upon a cliff in the coastal town of Tunquén, looking out onto an estuary that leads to the ocean.
“The construction system is made of rigid frames, built on pine wood (2 by 6”) and distanced 95cm, where each frame is different from another,” say the architects. “However, the roof is continuous and homogenous, trapping in a single gesture the different moments of the house.”
The sharp wedge-shaped volumes of the house projecting out over the cliff enable views from virtually all angles, from the estuary to the mountains. But most importantly – check out how pine has been put to use in such a modern context. The best part is how they stained it various shades, giving it a lighter appearance on the walls and ceilings, leaving it more natural for the floors and making it stark black outside.