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This summer cabin in the woods designed by Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter is located on the rocky cliffs guarding the sea of the Stockholm archipelago. However open to nature and inspired by its location, it is a modern mansion that completes the scenery through style and good taste.
Any project placed on a site with a view, something to look at and be amazed, should take advantage of it and offer the best vantage point. For this reason, this modern cabin in the woods is opened up to the maximum to the west, where the infinite blue of the sea suggests peace and serenity. Having such a landscape as background for every step and every turn you make inside this dream home surely helps a lot, physically, and is a lot more relaxing than living in the city where most people face a very narrow view which presents nothing but another inexpressive block of flats. The design was achieved having in mind the dense forest encircling the area; Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter chose to create a contrast between the verticality of the trees and the horizontality of the house; this gesture reminds of ancient Greek architecture where the composition of vertical and horizontal lines was in a perfect harmony that suggests stability and balance. However modern its style and materiality, it doesn’t stand out or compete with the rest of the landscape, it doesn’t affect its sense, majesty and serenity. It’s neutrality is due to its low profile; the structure’s maximum height is much smaller than the trees’s so a contrast appears between the two, accentuating the cabin whilst the forest acts as a background. It’s a very subtle architectural gesture that creates meaning and sense for this dream house.
Description from the architects:
“A light-weight building in glass and wood, a summerhouse in the Stockholm archipelago.
The layout of the plan is generated by the specifics of the site. The house is placed on the flat surface between two mountain rocks, and turns simultaneously towards the sun in the South and frontally towards the sea in the West.
Movement, ambiguous spaces and light. With the small rooms located in the back, the rest of the house stands out as an open platform criss-crossed by panes of sliding glass. The zig-zag layout also offers several outside spaces sheltered from strong winds.
An outline towards the horizon. The horizontal character of the black stained exterior relates to the verticals of tall grown pines.
A continuous dissolution of space in three steps. The house is organized in layers, the big rooms expand with an open relationship to the wooden deck. A horizontal wooden trellis diffuses daylight and enhances the character of one continuous space, where the distinction of interior/exterior becomes subordinated.
For the interior, the starting point has been the direct relationship to the dramatic archipelago landscape, with the objective to offer within a simple frame – a platform – several diverse readings of the relation between space and nature.
A multiplicity of readings. As a result of the large glass panes and the prevailing conditions of light, reflections and mirror-like effects, a quality is created where nature, space and horizon all interact together.”
Among the ancient forests and sceneries that Sweden has to offer, this cabin in the woods integrates perfectly, not harming the landscape with its modern design but rather enhancing its perception.
Architects: Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter
Location: Stockholm archipelago, Sweden
Architects in charge: Bolle Tham & Martin Videgård Hansson
Site Area: 3,250 sqm
Constructed Area: 130 sqm + existing
Project year: 2003-2006
Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman