I may have spotted a new trend in New Nordic Architecture - I’m going to call it ‘Sci-fi Chic’. I’m sure that the term is not new and has been bounced around on catwalks in global cities. But for now it describes well a type of hotelier aspiration that is emerging in Scandinavia and the Nordic countries. Think Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway, 7th Room in Sweden and now Javri Lodge in Finnish Lapland.
At Javri Lodge, the combination of traditional log cabin - the sort that stacks gigantuous timber logs one on top of the other - and a new architectural design - creates the feeling of past meets present. Like a sci-fi movie that was made a while ago about a future that had not yet happened, but somehow time has crept up on it. The log part of the cabin and original section of the lodge was once the president of Finland’s winter hideaway. The new extension was added in 2018 accessed by vaulted metallic door (electronically operated of course) opening into hallway and spectacular lobby and restaurant.
Javri’s color palette is carefully curated. The burnt blackened wood of the ceiling is reflected in the minimal furniture design, softened by the odd splash of grey (in a reclining chair for example) and the soft reindeer hides that adorn the stools in the hallway. The staff wear felted blacks and greys and perfectly blend in with their minimalist environment. Before we had so much as moved our suitcases onto the snowy path outside the lodge, Juho floated out of the vaulted doorway to assist, grabbing our luggage, welcoming us and simultaneously maintaining a sing-song conversation in Finnish to a passing Nordic skier. My kind of place, I thought. A short tour of the lodge helped us feel at home, whilst ensuring we had a chance to sign up for our obligatory sauna time combined with a soak in the darkened swimming pool.
The wow moment arrived when opening the door of our ‘Sky-View Suite’. Can a window make you feel small? I think so, in this instance. The trend for glass-fronted accommodation in Arctic regions has not been missed in Javri Lodge. Here it’s done with style and affront. The sheer scale of the window welcomes in the light and invites guests to lounge on the huge window seat, complete with soft cushioning and views to the snowy forest and mountains beyond. The sci-fi chic theme continued with chain-mail shower curtain and drop lights.
Immediately drawn to the window seat of the Sky View Suite, I spent some time watching Nordic skiers pass by on the trail below. I tried to remind myself that I came to Lapland in search of the Great Outdoors, and instead found myself gazing at it and its explorers from the cocoon of the lodge. But never mind. I’m sure there were excursions on offer weren’t there? This evening, I chose instead to wander down to the lounge in the provided slippers, pour myself a Finnish G&T from the honesty bar, and wander back up to my cosy perch. I continued watching as the sun started setting, shrouding the ski trail in darkness as the final few skiers hurry along eager, no doubt, to return home in time for Hygge time of their own.
The evening was interrupted only with the promise of a deliciously prepared five course dinner in the restaurant. Wandering downstairs, we sat down to a beautiful meal which helped us to taste and experience Nordic flavors from the surrounding landscapes. King crab ravioli was a stand-out course, along with the tender reindeer loin with mushrooms, accompanied by a strong bodied Red. The final course presented us with blueberries and beautifully thin meringue. We completed our evening with a Finnish rye whisky next to the roaring fire in the cosy lounge.
There were no Northern Lights to gaze at from our Sky View Suite, but we had been rewarded greatly with the unhurried comfort and warm embrace of the lodge. Before it was time to leave the safety of the vaulted hallway, I learnt that British TV presenter and architect George Clarke was on his way that very day to film Amazing Spaces. I’m certain he wouldn’t be disappointed.
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