When Swedish architect Peter Hulting was asked to transform this old farm site into a couple’s new home, he immediately saw the potential to create an unpretentious, sensitive space with the ability to connect both to its immediate surroundings and the neighboring open landscape. Specific only in their demands for a concrete floor and clay roof tiles, quality craftsmanship and simplicity were key to the couple's vision of “a house that could age with dignity.”
Walking into this small, yet stunningly designed guest/summerhouse situated on Sweden’s west coast peninsula, you are immediately struck by a sense of space that belies its fifty square meters of floor space. Constructed in the shape of a traditional Swedish summerhouse with a contemporary twist, everything from the furniture to the lighting has been designed to enhance the building’s shape and size—from the elongated Japanese-style Movitz table and benches, designed by Per Holgersson and Nicko Åberg for Loo Design, to the long steel-pipe chimney that guides the eye upwards from the open fire to the wooden ceiling.
Using a combination of wood, concrete, and plaster, Hulting has succeeded in creating a range of tactile surfaces that compare and contrast in equal measure. The smooth concrete floor incorporates the water-carried heating system, while the use of sawed larch tree for the exterior walls and reclaimed clay tiles on the roof allow the building to sit perfectly within this picturesque setting.
In order to maximize on the available space, Hulting opted for an open plan design. “I wanted to create a large space, but also an interesting flow of space,” he explains. “I also wanted to expand the interior space while maintaining a sense of privacy from inside the house.” By creating a large glass frontage overlooking the south facing landscape, sliding doors define the inner space when required, while at the same time ensuring the interior of the guesthouse remains cool during summer.
Creating compact, innovative solutions for the sleeping area, toilet, shower, and kitchen were also key to Hulting’s design concept and achieved, in part, by allowing the walls of these areas to work like large pieces of furniture within the main space. Towards one end a wardrobe doubles as a wall divider, separating the sleeping area from the rest of the house. Two sliding doors providing dual access to the bed, while the reverse of the wardrobe divider doubles as a set of bookshelves at the foot of the bed. There is also space for two loft beds here, while the simple design of Ulf Scherlin’s Birå 4 cupboard ensures that any clutter is neatly stored away out of sight. Low-level windows in oiled pinewood provide some natural light—as well as views of the grass slope outside—supplemented by Olga Popyrina-designed lamps. To the left of the bedroom, two sliding doors conceal the toilet and shower areas. The floors, tiled in Portuguese stone, offset standard white tiles that have been ‘brick-mounted’ and finished with a dark grey grout to create a compact, yet contemporary design solution.
The central section of the house has been dedicated to the kitchen and dining areas. The kitchen sits in a semi-recess, cleverly defining its parameters without encroaching on the open-plan design of the overall space. The stainless steel of the kitchen contrasts beautifully with brightly coloured handmade Portuguese tiles by Ceramica de Bicesse. Effective storage solutions are key to the design of small spaces, especially in the kitchen, where storage has been incorporated on three levels. A stainless steel rail mounted onto the tiled splash back ensures regularly used items are kept off the main work surface yet within easy reach, while the positioning of the window allows the windowsill to be used as an extra shelf. Further storage is provided by open shelving that stretches the length of the kitchen area for easy access to crockery and other items. For Hulting, the interaction between the kitchen, dining table and exterior decking that almost appears to float on the grass outside is one of the most interesting aspects of his design. “It is a very interesting axis that is a contradiction to the structure and the design of the house,” he says. At the far end of the house, classic designs, such as Bruno Mathsson’s 1939 Sofa Mathsson [Källemo] and Jasper Morrison’s Globall floor and ceiling lamps provide the perfect balance of old and new.
In addition to the summerhouse, Hulting was also asked to create a storehouse and main villa on the same site. The summerhouse and storehouse were built on the sites of two old dilapidated barns. The architect chose to rebuild on the old site for both historical and architectonic reasons. In addition to maintaining an historic connection to the old site, with just 2½ metres between the corners of the two buildings, he was also able to use their positioning to create an informal entrance to the couple’s home. The guesthouse will remain the couple’s home for a further year until the main villa is completed. “They love the house and tell me that living in it makes them enjoy it more and more as they continue to discover small details and thoughts about the design. “It has been really great to work with and get to know such interested and committed clients,” he concludes. “Aside from building this house together we also have become friends.”
Photography: James Silverman
Per Holgersson and Nicko Åberg’s "Svenska Bär" chair for Loo Design perfectly compliments a 1939 Bruno Mathsson sofa in the compact living area.
The shape of the dining table and benches add to the sense of space. Vast glass sliding doors capitalize on the view and provide easy access to the exterior deck.
The stainless steel kitchen area is brought to life with brightly colored handmade tiles, and kept clutter-free by maximizing on storage space
Low -level windows ensure the couple make the most of the wonderful views outside from the comfort of their bed. Paintings by Kurt Lightner and James Silverman’s photography, available through jaggedart personalize the space.
Portuguese stone tiled flooring defines the toilet and shower areas, separated from the main living space by sliding doors in grey painted MDF.
Leading out from the dining area, a wooden deck appears to float on the grass outside, while chairs designed by Yngve Ekstrom Lamino for Swedese and exterior lighting by Andrew Gauld of Gauld Design provide the finishing touches.
www.olgadesign.com Olga Popyrina
Olga Popyrina lamp “Man”” in bedroom firstname.lastname@example.org
www.loo.se Per Holgersson and Nicko Åberg
Japanese style table and bench's MOVITZ Loo design: DESIGNED by Per Holgersson and Nicko Åberg email@example.com
chair Svenska Bär, Loo design: Per Holgersson and Nicko Åberg
www.svenssons.se furniture provided by Svenssons i Lammhult:
1/Jasper Morisson Lamps “Globall” floor and ceiling
2/chairs outside designed by Yngve Ekstrom Lamino for Swedese
3/Cupboard in bedroom designed by Ulf Scherlin Birå 4
www.kurtlightner.com Kurt Lightner
Kurt Lightner paintings firstname.lastname@example.org
www.jaggedart.com James Silverman
Photographs by James Silverman in Bedroom sold by jaggedart: email@example.com
Ikea Bedroom-flower holder
www.gaulddesign.com Gauld Design
Andrew Gauld garden lighting firstname.lastname@example.org
www.bruno-mathsson-int.com Bruno Mathson International
Bruno Mathsson sofa
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