A jewel sealed towards the inland and open towards the sea.
– A jewel sealed towards the inland and open towards the sea.
Those are the words of the architect himself, Peter Sahlin. The small house on the Swedish west coast that bears his signature is intimately related to the moor, the sea, and the sky; yet it is a solitaire.
Heather and dwarf pine surround the house. The moor stretches down to the dunes and meadows of the shore with Rugosa rose, thrift, sea holly, chick weed, and farthest out an edging of shingle and frothy water.
At the site boundary, the moor seems to hesitate and regroup to a garden; the unsorted terrain is arranged in patterns, a sudden but subtle change signalling that this is something else, a special place, and indeed a unique house.
– I eventually settled for the shape of a box, says Peter Sahlin, and the customer was on. It may sound simple, and it may be small. But there is certainly room for both beauty and joy. Local rules permit only one story buildings on no more than 20 percent of the site. Furthermore, a flat roof allowed for a second story in the open air.
Outdoor stairs lead to the sedum roof and a furnished upper deck within a glass railing, a room with a view. On a clear day, Danish Isle of Anholt is visible through binoculars.
So, what is this? It may well be a salute to architect and designer Josef Frank and his first little boxes with flat roof tops and terraces among sand dunes and lyme grass in Falsterbo on the southwest tip of the Swedish coast. Who knows?
– The flat horizontal wood siding is durable cedar, says the architect. The cedar contains an acid with a faint scent of honey; rain and wind extract the acid which effectively protects the wood from fouling. The façade gradually turns distinguished grey much like iron vitriol.
Huge sliding glass walls from Hajom open up the house towards the sea and connect outdoors with indoors. Inside there are 85 square meters of bed room, bath, sitting room, kitchen, and hall with bright daylight pouring in everywhere.
Kvänum was trusted to deliver all fixed furniture and woodwork, mostly customised solutions, some built on site.
The entire interior is pervaded by Brahe Smoked Oak, or occasionally laminates on a carcass of smoked oak – bedroom furniture and panel wall with shelves, as well as cabinets, wardrobes, plain doors, and drawers with minor classics like knobs Vide and Korn.
It is down to earth and simply beautiful. Lighting solutions were delicately adapted to the house by Ulrika Bergström. She also decorated the interior.
Drawings with 3D elevation allowed the architect to define every nook and cranny of the house down to the last detail, which of course made communication with the customer and co-workers so much easier. Peter Sahlin is lyrical about the interaction within the group, quite literally an exercise in team building.
– Kvänum’s interior decorator Birgitta Silfverberg miraculously managed to translate and mediate our ideas and intentions to their eminent joinery.
Likewise, the architect praises the builder Ulf Aronsson and his skills, and also pays tribute to a passionate and devoted customer.
It took two years, but there it is at last; a small box filled to the brim with grand design, a house by the sea.
All is well that ends well.
Responsible architect: Peter Sahlin / Reflex Arkitekter AB
Participating architects: Jamie Rivero + Ulrika Bergström
Developer: Ulf Aronsson Bygg AB
Completed Aug 2021
Photo: Lasse Olsson Photo