Archipelago House by Norm Architects embraces Japanese and Nordic design

The private holiday home perched on the rocky coast of Sweden features four wooden interlocked volumes, a wooden deck terrace, bespoke lighting and furniture.

by STIRworldPublished on : Nov 26, 2020

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.

Archipelago House by Norm Architects | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Archipelago House by Norm Architects Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

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.

Archipelago House sits on a rocky slope | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Archipelago House sits on a rocky slope Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Façade detail | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Façade detail Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

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.

Timber clad Archipelago House with gabled roofs | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Timber clad Archipelago House with gabled roofs Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Entrance | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Entrance Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

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.

A quaint corner inside the summerhouse | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
A quaint corner inside the summerhouse Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Glass openings | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Glass openings Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

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.

Folding doors open onto the outdoor deck | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Folding doors open onto the outdoor deck Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
The kitchen island | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
The kitchen island Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

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 Club Chair sitting against wall storage | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
The Club Chair sitting against wall storage Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Bathroom | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Bathroom Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

“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.

Bespoke furniture and lighting | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Bespoke furniture and lighting Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Inside the bedroom | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Inside the bedroom Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

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.

Shelving | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Shelving Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Pine wood façade in the kitchen | Archipelago House by Norm Architects | STIRworld
Pine wood façade in the kitchen Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

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.

Project Details

Name: Archipelago House
Location: Sweden
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

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