According to statistics, the average winter temperature in Finland runs well below -10 degrees centigrade. And, as a counter to such frigid conditions, there are ingenious local traditions like the ‘sauna’ that notch up on the temperature as well as humidity. However, some Finnish architects have decided to go for more ‘optimized’ temperature control techniques that are not so extreme in their function. As a result, we see some deft yet ‘green’ applications – like the usage of natural geothermal energy and winter solar gain. The Ateljee Heikkilä home studio (built for a local art historian) designed by Architects Rudanko +Kankkunen is one such classic architectural example of Finnish innovation.
The 2,370 sq ft building is marked by a slanting roof that is angled in such a way so as to induct the low elevated sun rays into the house. This is a type of solar gain technique that doesn’t require any conventional energy source. As for the other mode of heating, the house utilizes geothermal system that brings up heat from below ground level.
The whole scope of heat retaining however doesn’t stop with the aforementioned techniques. The interior of the home studio is painted with darker shades, while being also furnished with lesser number of windows, so as to mitigate the escaping of heat. Finally, the living quarters of the house are built underground (in closer proximity to the geothermal system). The upper mezzanine floor in turn houses the gallery, thus spatially shielding the micro-climate and privacy ambit of the lower living quarters.