Onnela is a 'place of happiness' in Kishorn

This stunning four-bedroom 'Honka' home uses natural building materials to create a warm and harmonious living environment with high indoor air quality that reduces stress and improve wellbeing. The property is also extremely energy efficiency.

Our client wanted to build a four bedroom house on the site of an old petrol station in the Highland hamlet of Kishorn. So far not an unusual brief for Bell Ingram Design. However, the house was to be supplied by Honka, a Finnish company which specialises in solid log homes.

The construction team was to fly over from Finland to assemble the house which would be set onto a base provided by a Scottish contractor. Once the log walls were constructed, the local contractor would then return and complete the roofing, heating and electrical works and all of the external works.

Bell Ingram Design provided a full architectural service for this build including Planning preparation and approval process, Building Warrant preparation and approval process, coordination of the tender for the construction works and Contract Administration Services during the construction phase itself.


This was a complex build which required precise co-ordination between our team, our chosen Scottish contractor and the Honka design team.

Ensuring that the property would comply with Scottish building regulations also required input from both Finnish and Scottish structural engineers. This construction technique may have been common throughout Scandinavia for centuries, but a considerable amount of supporting information was required to satisfy the local Building Control Department regarding the durability and long term performance of the solid log wall construction in order to  meet Scottish Building regulations.

The redevelopment of a petrol station site also required extensive investigations to identify potential contamination with areas replaced with clean infill material.

The owner named the house ‘Onnela’ which means ‘place of happiness’ in Finnish, and it is very much a showcase for the many benefits of solid log built homes which have been appreciated for centuries not just in Scandanavia but across the globe

From the smell of the pine wood, to the ability of the solid timbers to even out changes in interior humidity, to the general sense of well-being that living in a solid wood building brings for the inhabitants, the completed house demonstrates all of these qualities.

And while the project was certainly challenging, the outcome has been well worth the effort creating a stunning property constructed from Finnish Arctic pine set in the delightful village of Kishorn, near to the famous Bealach Na Ba pass and on the North Coast 500 route.

Murray Fleming

Tel: 01463 717 799

Article posted on 05/03/2021

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