Some lucky chickens in Finland are living their best log-cabin life every summer
This architect-designed coop is the summer home of some very spoiled chickens.
Words: Nadene Hall
Design: Thom Brisco
Kana Talo is a seasonal home (talo) for up to eight pet layer hens (kana). It’s in the grounds of a summer house on the shores of Lake Porovesi, 500km north of Finland’s capital Helsinki, just a few hours’ drive from the Arctic Circle.
The client’s property includes a log-built summer house, sauna, workshop, and woodstore. They asked architect Thom Brisco to design a modest coop in keeping with the style of the rest of the property, where their hens could live during the summer months.
Thom says while it was a small project, it allowed him to research local building styles and honour the region’s striking building culture. “Where much of Europe utilises timber to construct frames, the Nordic regions produce an abundance of tall straight pine wood and from that emerged stacked log construction – the method remains prevalent in the landscape and is familiar to most Finns.”
Modern homes sit on concrete foundations, but traditional homes sat on large stones, so Thom incorporated that into the design. The hand-hewn, notched, interlocking wooden coop sits on large granite rocks, keeping it off the wet soil and ensuring the coop dries quickly after rain.
There are doors in the front for the birds, and to allow daily egg collection. At the back is a larger door for general maintenance.
The wood for the handles was foraged from a nearby fallen birch, then hand-sawn and sanded. The hens walk up stairs hewn from a spruce log. Internal ventilation is critical to coop design, to limit the build-up of heat, humidity, and ammonia, so the coop has a series of cored openings in the perimeter beam.
The timber is finished with a clear matt protective coating that is reapplied each summer.