For all the benefits of city life, a lack of access to nature is without a doubt the biggest downfall. As such, having a cabin within reach of town is the end all be all dream for many. Helsinki-based design firm Verstas Architects understands this as well as anyone—the Finns are well known for their love of nature and cottage culture, after all—and their City Cottage design is the most efficient way of achieving escape within city limits.
Designed by principal architect Jussi Palva for his own family of four, the modest, 14 square meter cabin resides along the shoreline just two kilometers from Palva’s home and the Verstas office. By being in such close proximity, the cabin benefits from only really needing the bare essentials—the family can go home to shower, or answer emails, for example.
And with such a small footprint, the City Cottage is unsurprisingly very energy efficient. It cost very little to build, and even less to maintain, with solar providing electricity and a fireplace for heat. Speaking to the design, it’s a pleasant blend of Scandinavian minimalism and Japanese spacial use. The galley-inspired kitchen can be used both for food prep or as a workspace for the children, and up a small step is a living space with custom build sofa that converts into a bed. A lofted area for the kids to play and sleep is small but does the job, and integrated cabinetry throughout offers ample storage space.