Situated on the sloped Baltic coast, Summerhouse Lagnö by Stockholm-based firm Tham & Videgård Arkitekter rests on a rectangular plot between forest and sea. Unlike the area’s wood cottages, the architects constructed two rectilinear, multi-gabled volumes of poured-in-place concrete, joined together by a glazed pavilion.
“The building sits on the border between a forest and the coast line. A sequence of interconnected pitched roofs made of natural cast concrete create interior spaces of varying size and heights. Small rooms for entrance, bath, kitchen and sleeping constitute a thick wall towards the north, while a continuous open space for living and dining opens up to the south with vast views over the neighboring islands, the Baltic sea and the horizon.” – Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
The summerhouse was commissioned by a family with children and can be seen as a brilliant exercise in restraint. The structure consists of three volumes: The two primary volumes, the main house and guest house, are connected by a rectangular terrace and separated by a gap – almost as if one of the five boat houses has been blown away and only the roof remained. It is through this glass-covered opening, you access the house, before walking through and down towards the water, where you’ll find the more reclusive sauna.
The house itself is small, only 100 m2, but very convincingly scaled. More elongated than the simple 1960’s sport cabin that stood on the site until a few years ago, and certainly more low-key than the large neighbouring houses with their outstretched verandas, the house was built around the turn of the century, when the wealthy Stockholmers began to spend their summers in the archipelago.
The house distinctly draws a dividing line between public and private. While the north facade facing the road, is completely closed off and reserved, the south facade facing the water, is wide open, embracing the landscape. The sliding glass doors of the south facade help to bring the nature inside whilst the reflection of the horizon merges with the polished concrete floor. Within the double-high living room, reflections play across the sliding teak doors and the tall, surrounding birch trees cast long shadows on the white-painted walls whilst the irregularly proportioned saddle roofs create intriguing niches and subdivisions.
Tham & Videgård Arkitekter:
The setting is the Stockholm archipelago, natural ground sloping gently down to the sea in the south, mostly open with a few trees and bushes. Unlike other projects we worked on located on more isolated islands in the archipelago without car access from the mainland, this site was relatively easy to reach also with heavy transports. This, together with the client’s desire for a maintenance-free house inspired us to search for a way to design the house as an integral part of nature, where the material’s weight and color scale connects to the archipelago granite bedrock, rather than a light light wooden cottage.
The two building volumes are placed side by side and form a line that clarifies their position in the landscape, just at the border where the forest opens up out onto the bay. When approached from the north, the entrance presents itself as an opening between the buildings giving direction towards the light and water. It is a first outdoor space protected from rain by a pitched canopy of glass.
The exterior character of the house is derived from a number of transverse gable roofs, which connect to each other, and like boathouses in a line form a pleated long facade. This provides a sequence of varied room heights for the interior and create places in the otherwise completely open living room that stretches through the entire length of the main building. With a relatively shallow room depth and a continuous sliding glass partition out to the terrace, the space can be described as a niche in relation to the archipelago landscape outside. The small rooms are located along the north façade with access through a wall of sliding doors. They are lit by openable skylights and form smaller pitched ceiling spaces within the main roof volume.
Terrace, interior floors and facades are made of exposed natural colored in situ cast concrete with plywood formwork. The interior is painted white with woodworks in ash. A sauna, a detached block of in situ cast concrete with a wooden interior, offers a secluded place near the beach and pier.
Project name: House Lagnö
Location: Västra Lagnö, Stockholm, Sweden
- Type By Characteristic: Holiday House, Modern House
- Type By Site: Forest House, Ocean House
- Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
- Type By Materials: Concrete House
Project Area: 140 sqm
Project Period: 2010-2012
Completion Year: 2012
Client / Owner / Developer: Private
Architects: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter – Blekingegatan 46, 116 62 Stockholm, Sweden
Interior Designer: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
- Chief architects: Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård
- Project architect: Anna Jacobson
Structural engineer: Sweco, Mathias Karlsson
Text Description: © Courtesy of Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
Images: © Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, Åke E:son Lindman