Excerpt: The Four Cornered Villa by Avanto Architects Ltd. is a residence with a simplistic cross-like design that extends in four separate directions. There are three views of the lake and a nice forest to the west instead of the single orientation that is conventional. In contrast to traditional Finnish cottages, the main objective was to showcase a sustainable dwelling as an example.
[Text as submitted by architect] The property faces north and east and is located on an island with a horseshoe form. This simplistic villa’s cross-like design reaches towards four very distinct points of view. Instead of having just one orientation as is usual, there are three views of the lake and a lovely forest to the west.
At the breakfast counter, at noon in the dining room and at dusk in the living room, light is present. Since there is no direct sunlight in the bedroom, curtains are not required. Covering terraces keeps the building from overheating in the summer while permitting passive solar energy in the winter.
To make the separation between the inside and outside disappear, double doors are provided, that can lead to terraces. The area is both open and well-defined. To contrast the interior, which is fairly light, the exterior has been painted entirely black. When viewed from the lake, the structure completely vanishes due to its dark colour. The clichés of modern architecture, like the flat roof, are warmly ironic.
The main goal was to present a sustainable cottage as an example, in contrast to traditional Finnish cottages, which are heated with electricity throughout the year to keep water pipes from freezing. Since only wood from the building’s own forest is used for heating, the structure is carbon neutral. There is no running water, and the sun provides the electricity.
On-site herb and vegetable gardens are also home to the Vaskivesi Lake, a popular spot for pike-perch fishing. Living a simple, austere life in the country is very different from the frenetic city lifestyle and offers an opportunity to live with the least possible negative influence on the environment.