The Nature of Silence

architect Juhani Pallasmaa
project House and Gazebo, Lakeside Site in Eastern Finland
written by Petra Čeferin


For some years now a large-scale model of two unusual structures has been hanging on architect Juhani Pallasmaa’s studio wall. Their elementary geometry and the way in which they are thoughtfully positioned on the site are reminiscent of the astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar, the ancient observatory in New Delhi, used for the observation and study of the laws of nature. 


In actual fact, however, this is the model of a summer residence the architect calls the House of Silence. In the course of construction, apparently, it became evident that the house had the capacity to silence the internal clatter brought about by the stress of city life. And yet we have to bear in mind that the architect designed the building for himself, as a house into which he would one day retreat and thus as that one ideal place where it is possible – as he once put it – “to forget the noise of the outside world and listen only to one’s own heartbeat”.