Four-cornered villa, Finland | Avanto Architects

Four-cornered villa is a minimalist winter cabin, designed by architects Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen of Helsinki based Avanto Architects.

Located in Virrat, Finland, on a remote lake area of an island, the 78 sqm retreat offers an ascetic experience based on simplicity, with no running water, no central heating and optimized use of electricity. The floor plan is shaped in the shape of a cross that frames views of the forrest and water on all four sides. A sauna is located in a separate building, some distance away from the main cabin.  Exterior is treated black, in contrast with the light, calm interiors.

Photography © | Anders Portman and Martin Sommerschield

Description from Avanto Architects:

The site is situated on a horseshoe shaped island and faces north and east. The cross like shape of this simple villa reaches towards four very different views. There is no one and only direction on the site as usually, but you can see lake in three directions and you have a nice forest view to the west. You get morning light at the breakfast table, midday in dining room and evening in sitting room. There is no direct sunlight in the bedroom so you don’t need curtains. Terraces are covered to prevent the hot summer sun overheating the building but allowing passive solar energy in the winter.

You can open the double doors to the terraces so that the limit of interior and exterior disappears. The space is open and defined at the same time. The exterior is treated all black to contrast the interior, which is very light. Dark color makes the building disappear totally when seen from the lake. The roof is flat – there is some warm irony to the clich├ęs of modern architecture.

The basic idea is to provide an example of sustainable cottage in contrast to normal Finnish cottages that are heated all year round with electricity to prevent water pipes from freezing. The building is insulated well and heated by wood from own forest only resulting in a carbon neutral building. There is no running water and the electricity is provided by the sun. Vegetables and herbs are cultivated on site and the Vaskivesi Lake is known as a good place to catch pike-perch. The simple and ascetic life at the countryside differs dramatically from the hectic city life and provides a possibility to live a life with a minimum impact to the nature.

Plan © Courtesy of Avanto Architects

Source: Avanto Architects | ThisisPaper