Location: Virrat, Finland
Architect: Avanto Architects Ltd , Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen
Client: The architect
Design date: 2008
Completion date: 2010
Built area: 102m2
Structural design: Konstru Oy / Jorma Eskola
Electrical design: Virtain Sähkötyö Oy / Väinö Sipilä
Budget: 150 000 €
Photographer: kuvio.com / Anders Portman and Martin Sommerschield
Text provided by the architects:
The site is situated on a horseshoe-shaped island and faces north and east. The cross-like shape of this simple villa reaches four very different views. There is no one and only direction on the site as usual, but you can see the lake in three directions and you have a nice forest view to the west. You get morning light at the breakfast table, midday in the dining room, and evening in the 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 from 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 clichés of modern architecture.
The basic idea is to provide an example of a 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 in the countryside differs dramatically from the hectic city life and provides a possibility to live a life with a minimum impact on the nature.
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