by Jerry ElengicalSep 27, 2021
Embracing all aspects of family life, Archipelago House designed by Copenhagen-based Norm Architects is a timber clad, modernised holiday home perched on the rocky coast of Sweden. The dwelling is set into a cliff, comprising four wooden interlocked volumes which are connected by a wooden deck terrace that follows the slope, and also hosts bespoke lighting and furniture designed by Norm Architects themselves.
The residential architecture seeks inspiration from the local building traditions found in boathouses on rocky shores, blending harmoniously with the surrounding nature. Built for a couple with four children, the wooden structures are topped with gabled roofs, and draw heavily from Japanese aesthetic sensibilities and Nordic design and craftsmanship.
The minimal exterior as well as the interior are designed to evoke the serenity of being surrounded by nature – “A combination of Scandinavian cosiness with warm textures and soft furniture while maintaining the elegance of Japanese decor. While both styles have a focus on the utilitarian, it has been important to maintain a zen-like sense of calm in this house where the emphasis is on the life being led and the nature surrounding it,” says Peter Eland of Norm Architects.
The interior design also follows the sloping terrain, and is informed by a plethora of natural materials, muted colors, clean lines, and minimal, well-curated, furnishings. The spaces inside are linked by internal steps and stairs that connect the home’s five different levels, while the material and colour scheme is kept natural, muted and high-end, symbolically connecting the inside with the outside.
The main living space is outlined by a double height room which is divided in the centre by a massive industrial kitchen island. Toward one side of the living space is a lounge area, giving spectacular framed views of the rocky hills, while the dining area takes up space on the other side, facing an outdoor terrace accessed by folding doors. To maximise storage space and reduce clutter, all functional and storage features of the kitchen are built into the wall, creating an internal wooden façade that stretches along the length of the house.
Wood dominates the entire project, providing diverse textures and subtle shades to calm the mind, treated to achieve a smooth look and feel and a rustic elegance. Contrary to the rest of the residential design, the bathrooms display a cave-like quality, its surfaces dressed in grey stone and reflecting the rocky surroundings, giving the inhabitants a luxury spa in a compact space. The wooden terrace deck becomes an alfresco space for dining, playing and enjoying the magnificent view of the water and small rocky islands seen in the distant horizon.
“The lighting collection has been designed especially for the Archipelago House. The two lamps have been designed to tell the story of the manufacturing collaboration between Karimoku and Kojima Shouten. Karimoku being the leading wooden furniture manufacturer in Japan and Kojima Shouten being a 220 year old Kyoto based lantermaker,” shares Frederik Werner, partner at Norm Architects.
The shape of the pendant light references the holiday home’s architecture with its sloped sides. Washi paper covers the bottom of the lamp, held in place by a few magnets, making it easy to disassemble it in case of a bulb change. The table lamp has a Washi paper lampshade and a wooden base, presenting itself as a hybrid between a piece of furniture and a warm source of light.
The Club Chair is part of the Karimoku Case Study Collection, and is designed to have a small footprint coupled with great comfort. The inside of the rounded backrest is fully upholstered and folds up on top of the chair to transition into the armrest. The wooden backside adds a more crisp, architectural and crafted expression to the furniture designn. “All elements have been intentionally distanced from each other to create a very honest and lightweight chair - a chair that doesn’t take up too much space, but remains functional and beautiful,” says Linda Korndal of Norm Architects.
Designed by Norm Architects and collaboratively produced by Danish August Sandgren and Japanese Karimoku Case Study, The Norm Book Box “N-BB01” is a collection of storage boxes designed to accommodate small belongings and provide a soft storage space inside the summer residence.
By employing bright spaces and light colours, Archipelago House by Norm Architects focuses on blending its architecture of clean lines with functional spaces for seamless family living, a retreat away from noisy city life.
Name: Archipelago House
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Norm Architects
Architects and Designers: Peter Eland, Linda Korndal, Frederik Werner, Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Engineering Architect: Natasha Cuconescu
Furniture manufacturer: Karimoku Case Study, August Sandgren, Kojima Shouten
Bespoke furniture and designs: Club Chair “N-CC01”, Norm Book Box “N-BB01”, Pendant Light, Floor and Table Lamp, all by Norm Architects