the rectangular volume carefully fits into the hilly area of helsinki
On the edge of a hilly residential area in Helsinki, Finland, Avaton architects is carefully integratedhouse J ‘to the surrounding landscape and adjacent structures. due to the pure geometric volume, the apartment represents the closed rear facing north and east, where the neighboring houses are, but opening to the south and west, towards the nearby forest. the building wraps around an old pine tree, creating a sunny and sheltered lap yard, while the natural free forms and lush gardens create a stark contrast to the rectangular shape of the apartment.
Instead of carelessly stacking the floors on top of each other, the floors are strategically arranged so that the upper levels act as protective canopies for the lower ones. the cantilevered first floor forms a cover for the entrance to the ground floor, while the downstairs roof forms a terrace listing around the first floor courtyard. from the living room downstairs, residents admire the panoramic view of the courtyard, while the bedrooms on the first floor offer sweeping views of the neighborhood.
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materiality and energy use
the layers are connected by an open staircase, where wooden stairs hang from thin metal beams resembling tree trunks in a nearby forest. the same theme of planks levitation continues in the sauna. indoors, avato architects (find out more here) have decided to leave the concrete load-bearing walls exposed, while the oak window frames and doors create a warm contact with the concrete surfaces. In addition, the artwork on the walls fills the space with vibrant colors.
in the early stages of the project, the energy use of the building was simulated to optimize design solutions. the building is heated with geothermal energy and ground cooling is used for air conditioning. In this way, House J successfully responds to customer needs and desires that require timeless architecture and functional spaces for a family of five.