Four Cornered Villa

Virrat, Finland
Avanto Architects

Few things in life are as cosy as a warm cabin on a snowy night. Nestled in the woods of Finland, Four Cornered Villa is the envy of anyone looking for a warm place to spend the winter. There is only one word to describe the comfort of a site such as this: hygge.

For those still unaware, hygge is a Danish concept used to describe the feeling of cosiness, comfort, and contentment. Hygge can consist of anything from the quality of candlelight, drinking hot cocoa with friends, or wearing warm socks. Hygge brings cheer to a long and dark winter. Hygge can even be a verb: "Want to hygge?"

Designed by Helsinki based architecture studio Avanto Architects, Four Cornered Villa is named due to its cross-like shape. The structure branches out in four different directions. Each end is set with an oversized window to capture four very different views. During the day, the sunlight traces a path across the home, casting artistic shadows on the floors and walls.

Hygge is primarily a feeling, and spaces can be designed to evoke the feeling of hygge. Four Cornered Villa embraces the concept with soft lighting, fur rugs, and multiple wood-burning fireplaces. The home even features a sauna, a stable of Scandinavian life.

The cabin's amenities are simple, a deliberate contrast to city life. There is no electricity or running water, and all the heat is generated by the wood-burning fireplaces. The decor matches this ascetic lifestyle: unstained wood covers the interior's floors, walls, and ceiling. The same wood, this time stained near black, comprises the exterior siding.

The furnishings are purely functional: a pragmatic table, plain bedding, and a scattering of rugs. Yet, the residence is no less cosy for its spareness. In fact, the villa's simple nature allows for a fuller embrace of hygge. Hygge is not just about lighting, or blankets, or warm drinks. It's about togetherness: family and friends gathering around the fire to spend the long winter in each other's company.

In the shop