Visits: 235 – Jussi Laine – Urban Hut

Jussi Laine’s Urban Hut was one of the first works I declared I wanted. The idea, in a nutshell, is of a mobile prefab cottage that can be placed temporarily in urban settings. For about 200 euros a year, you buy in to a timeshare – entitling you to about 18 nights in the cottage. It’s about going somewhere quiet to have the feel of a cottage when you don’t have a cottage, or a car, or time, or money. I think it’d also influence the urban environment around it.

We’re not really talking about having it down your street; more like in areas that are wooded and fairly quiet, but not more than 50 km from the city centre. Or, for instance, in Kaivopuisto, which is where the Urban Hut is presented in a proposal sketch. Seriously, a cottage in Kaivari? Of course in the summer months you’d just be asking for midnight revelers to stop outside your window and shout out a chorus of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer, but in the winter it’s not all that busy. The cottages are meant to be easy to move around, so they don’t become fixtures. It’s a provocative presentation.

I know plenty of people who are young, car-free, cottageless, newly moved to Finland, or artists and therefore terminally skint, who would love to have this kind of possibility. I even have a friend who occasionally books a night alone in a hotel just to get away from the house now and again, so surely there’s a market. I can imagine just curling up with a book, no electricity, no internet, a nice fireplace, and a couple of friends for a quiet evening.

Jussi poses with a model prototype of the movable sauna, which smells deliciously of tar and wood. "It should remind you of cottage culture through the senses; that's why it's so basic."
The huts may attract wildlife, although perhaps not to this scale.

Each cottage has a website, indicating its location, who else is sharing it, the schedule, and what needs doing (trash, toilet, firewood). By doing work at your cottage, you can earn more time there.

Jussi’s page on the MoA site.