Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

The plan is at the heart of this elegantly elemental forest home set with a light touch (atop elevated footings) on an island in Finland.

The layout thrusts residents back out in four different directions, taking focus off the smallness of the space and emphasizing its intentional lack of center.

Designed by Avanto Architects (images by Anders Portman and Martin Sommerschield), the secondary functions (for it also omits core uses) of the retreat each exist on one arm of a four-pronged spiral.

Outside, dark stain makes it blend with the landscape, except for soft squares of light at the terminus of each arm. Inside, bright white walls make the spaces inviting, lively and open.