by Nadezna SiganporiaAug 23, 2022
When you think of Scandinavian architecture and interior design, the most dominant and defining characteristics include designs that are functional, minimal, yet warm with simple and clean lines. The visual simplicity of Scandinavian architecture almost purposefully belies its thoughtful design where the structure is crafted to be an asset to daily life.
Founded by Jacob Sjöblom and Axel Freij, Stockholm-based architecture studio Sjöblom Freij Arkitekter creates such architecture with structures that are responsive to both physical and cultural contexts complemented by high quality detailing and construction. A private residence in Kullavik, Sweden, is one such wonderful example of their work. Kyvik House, which is located in the midst of nature, showcases the refined beauty of natural wood and warm minimalism.
The residential design is created around three distinct elements that seamlessly unite to create a cosy, two-storey family home that offers privacy and a sense of quietude to the residents. Built in a consistent material palette of untreated local pine, a compact two-storey house, a semi-heated conservatory enclosed in glass and a wood framed outdoor area form the articulated whole. The three parts are held together by an exposed wooden structure with strong spatial connections between each part and to the surrounding garden.
"Each room has been carefully studied and designed based on its function and has specific spatial qualities adapted to changing seasons and light conditions…The building is constructed out of a wooden frame with a facade of untreated, high-quality local heart pine that will age beautifully over time and blend into the surrounding landscape. Internally, the load-bearing wooden structure is exposed at certain moments to enhance the spatial and tactile qualities. Windows are also made of heartwood but treated with a natural oil finish,” the studio explains.
With an exposed wood frame and shell, the house is designed on two levels with views oriented towards the surrounding landscape and private garden which enhances the connection with the outdoors. Within the limited interior area, the floor plan is carefully crafted to provide generous social and living spaces. The upper level consists of three cosy bedrooms as well as a family room for the children. The ground level houses a larger master bedroom and the social zones including a gallery-like living room.
Connected to the main open-plan living and dining area is the large conservatory which works to make the limited interiors look spacious and connect it with the outdoors. The conservatory features double height walls of glass which allow natural light to flood the interiors of the home and provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. To combat the cold winters, the room is partially heated with underfloor heating and a wood-burning stove.
“This space becomes an extension of the living room and is used differently depending on the season. In the warmer months, it will function as the heart of the house where the family gathers for meals, where neighbours and friends meet for a drink and where you do your yoga session in the morning. In the winter, it becomes the place for contemplation. A room where you read a book by the fire and find privacy,” the studio says.
The third element which is attached to the house and conservatory is the wood framed garden and outdoor area. The wooden framework extends from the house and conservatory and is built onto the rocky outcrop. “The framed garden is an outdoor space where the granite rock creeps close to the house and forms a quiet and private patio with a stone-covered surface. Other parts of the garden become more open where grass, trees and plants thrive,” the studio explains. This zone delivers yet another connection between the built structures and the natural landscape as Scandinavian architecture is wont to do.