Architecture is a fascinating blend of art and engineering. It’s creative, complex and challenging—and we’re passionate about doing it right. We have a special passion for the interaction between nature and architecture, and how this affects our quality of life.
After many years of research, travel and trial, we are proud to present our vision of healthy living, in harmony with nature. Houses in which we can live healthy, breathe easy, experience all the goodness of nature. To combine our modern architecture with modern ways of building, we worked together with the well-known Finnish company Polar Life Haus. This family business has already been 100 years in the forefront of developing new building methods using high quality local resources to accommodate modern architecture.
Our GreenHouse Project consists of not just a series of pleasant houses, it embodies our conviction that living close to nature will make us happy and keeps us healthy.
We have judiciously chosen natural, sustainable and renewable building materials that do not emit harmful chemicals, that rather clean the air than pollute it, and that age gracefully without chemical treatment. The use of steel, concrete and plastics is kept to an absolute minimum. Here in Finland, our favourite material is the high quality, slow grown Finnish spruce and larch. We use this for solid wood log walls, but also for floors, roofs, window frames and interior finishing.
For obtaining the energy we need to heat our houses in the cold Finnish winters, we have selected several methods that will not harm the indoor air quality. All the GreenHouses have roofs that can be fitted out with solar panels and solar collectors. All have wood burning fireplaces with heat exchangers, that combine with efficient low temperature floor heating. The use of geothermal energy, biofuel generators and very efficient heat exchangers will all make our indoor climate comfortable without using fossil fuels.
With the above-mentioned concepts of modern building style, sustainable & healthy materials and smart solution for energy-use, we believe we can create buildings for a truly better life.
Greenhouse architect Helga Traksel
Helga Traksel’s (M.Arch/SAFA) path to becoming an architect was rather roundabout. When she was 10 years old, she announced she wanted to be an architect. The die was cast, but there was more to life than studying and architecture.
During her extended study for a bachelor’s degree of Building Engineering (1992-1999) she travelled the world looking for the exotic and remote, and worked at several architectural offices in the Netherlands and Australia. During and after her Masters’ Degree in Architecture (2000-2006) at the prestigious Academy of Arts in Amsterdam, she worked as project architect for Paul de Ruiter in Amsterdam, currently one of the worlds’ leaders in sustainable architecture.
Sustainability and love of nature remained Helga’s drive to always find better ways to unite nature and architecture without compromises.
In 2007 she established HELGATRAKSELarchitect in Amsterdam, specializing in sustainable architecture and interior architecture. Still, adventure lured, and in 2011 she set out to sail around the world. ‘I wanted to try and live a fully self-sufficient life and study exotic places, how people live there, how they thrive in close harmony with nature. There is still so much opportunity to learn more. I managed to live over three years collecting rain water, fishing, powering our yacht with solar and wind energy and limiting our overall energy consumption to an absolute minimum. It can be done!’
After three years of sailing, it was time to settle down again and continue with her lasting passion, sustainable architecture. She settled this time in rural Finland where the unspoiled natural environment and harsh climate remain an everyday inspiration for her work.