Sustainability, design and feeling free, or simply – the summer cottage effect
Kontio and Helsinki Fashion Week collaboration press release July 11th 2018
Have you ever come home from a day in the countryside and felt... better? Mood altered, anxiety soothed, mind hushed? It seems obvious that getting out of the ceaseless grind of the city every once in a while might be good for your mental health and general wellbeing.
With the increasing trend of eco-friendly, sustainable and all-round healthy living, the opportunities for leading a healthy, happy lifestyle whilst keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum has become second nature to most. So, what is it about these cottages created out of natural materials that makes us feel so good? To me, they're like architectural versions of taking deep breaths, a feeling that everything is under control.
The number of environmental challenges currently facing the planet are daunting, ranging from intense climate change discussions to overwhelming plastic pollution. A topic increasingly affected by the current and future changes in the world of sustainability is the living space and the effect these spaces have over both – people and the environment. Can a building be aesthetically pleasing, a calm, healthy space for those who inhabit it while serving a greater purpose through eco-friendliness?
Looking for the answers, a major turning point in the world of design is the onset of eco architecture. Sustainability now has a defined presence in the world of architecture and design, as eco architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impacts of structures through improved efficiency and the use of sustainable construction materials. The idea of not harming the environment by using the most ecologically friendly construction materials is becoming the norm for designers all around the world. Beautiful buildings working with the environment are the heart and soul of eco architecture, but it goes much deeper than that. The effect that these natural spaces have on people are simple; it’s a life less stressful.
A good example of Nordic eco design is Kontio – an ecological building company focusing on the wellbeing of the people who inhabit these spaces. At Kontio, more than four trees are planted for every one tree cut to renew the forest, creating sustainable development while respecting the long tradition of Finnish forestry. By using genuine arctic pine as a raw material, Kontio houses are not only strong and durable, but create resistance against moisture and mould through the material’s antibacterial properties. Through their nature, these spaces have been proven to be good for the heart, fight asthma and allergies, and to reduce stress – like a forest inside your home.
I believe it’s safe to say that eco architecture is no longer a passing fad, but just the beginning of a more meaningful chapter in the world of building. Sustainable living solutions together with eco architecture will continue reducing the consumption of fossil fuels while providing aesthetically pleasing experiences for the benefit of the environment and the mental wealth of our communities and individuals alike. After all, it's pretty hard not to feel great when you've surrounded yourself with a natural space that’s literally good for you – a living and breathing summer cottage you can call a home.
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