OLD RAUMA (FINLAND): LIVING AND RESEARCHING VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE
Old Rauma is a Finnish medieval town. It was founded in the 15th century and although it went through several modifications, it maintained significative features of medieval Nordic urbanism and vernacular architecture. Buildings mostly consist of logs-timber structures, even if there are also few cases of stone constructions; dwellings are usually simple volumes composed of a stone cellar, a first main floor and an attic, that is used for ventilation and secondary domestic activities. The wood is the most used material and slabs, floors, doors, windows, finishing and decorations are made of it. People still live in traditional dwellings or use them with other functions. Some significant changes were necessary to adapt the buildings to the modern lifestyle: although some of them were quite modifying, the upgrades are often operated by using traditional techniques, materials and by maintaining the most relevant architectural features. Thank to this habit, Old Rauma is one of the largest and most important examples of Nordic traditional architecture. This text will present the results of 2 months of direct field research, by explaining the work methodology, its results and some considerations about them. The analysis has been conducted during a traineeship at Tammela Centre (Rauma) and it has been carried out by visual surveys, bibliographical researches, active participation to seminars and activities, photographical cataloguing and through interviews with local professionals, experts and inhabitants.