Perched on the water’s edge on an island south west of Stockholm is the H-House by Arkitektstudio Widejdal Racki (whilst practising as Arkitektstudio WRB). Like the Surfers House in a previous post, the building is about reacting to the changes in the weather. Roll open the windows, enjoy the open courtyards, bask in the summer sun and take in the view but when the wind blows and the temperature drops there are covered, protected areas and an outdoor fireplace.
Surf’s up and so is my pulse. Beautiful white boxes punctuated by large expanses of glass, the house is by Sweden’s Arkitektstudio Widejdal Racki (work completed while the firm was Arkitektstudio WRB). Open it up to the beautiful site or close it up and shelter inside when wild weather rolls in. Casual, stylish and perfect for a surfing weekend. What am I saying? Just surfing? You would find me just sitting on the patio being hypnotised by the ever changing sea.
When architecture and its surrounding landscape combine magic happens. When a building addresses its site the experience of the space is heightened, enriched. A limited palette of materials, concrete flooring, blocks and timber accents are a counterfoil to that view, stunning glimpses through native trees to Bass Strait. The House at Big Hill by Melbourne based Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA) draws the occupant through its dark, triangular space towards the vista while light and shadow cocoon and envelop the interiors.
Newly built terraced house still in raw state fell into the hands of Poznań based architects from mode:lina just in time because it turned out that:
“These structural concrete elements are just beautiful!” and the lack of any walls immediately gave future users an overview on ground floor space.
“We love open space but is has to be cosy. We also like raw materials but they need to get some warm natural accents because of our small child. Do you think there’s still room for some furniture we inherited from our parents?”
Architect’s recipe for a cosy open space was to create different zones for different functions by changing material both on the floor as well as on the ceiling.
In order to bring more nature into this urban house, floor in the living room was covered with cow hide and bathroom sliding door are raw MDF with old plank print. The owner was really enthusiastic about the idea of making a tree branch chandelier:
“It can not be just any branch! I will bring one from the place where I used to spend my childhood holidays.” Even purely functional aspects are matching the overall atmosphere of the house:
(He) “We have a growing collection of books. The collection of clothes grows too (fast!)
(She) “Yes, I want my wardrobe in my bedroom and it needs to be very special.” The wardrobe gets closer to nature too as it looks like a mysterious forrest with hidden doorway (the mirror).
“This house feels like a forester close to the city centre.”
Kim may be on a roll with the rustic and the bucolic this week. Me? I seem to be playing the retro riff. Modernist homes with a distinct midcentury vibe. Glass and steel, stone or timber boxes with sleek interiors. Hard surfaces and luxury. Like this Bray’s Island, South Carolina home by Atlanta based SBCH Architects. Sharp sophistication.