The Hat House is a retreat straight out of a Swedish fairy tale

The Hat House by Tina Bergman Architects takes its cues from Swedish fairy tales and the woods around it

hat house exterior daylight
(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

The Hat House, Tina Bergman Architects' latest residential project, is an idyllic forest retreat seemingly coming straight out of the land of fairy tales, and tucked away in the woods near Tänndalen in west Sweden. The London-based, Sweden-born architect conceived this compact piece of cabin architecture for a family of five, their dog, and their many occasional guests. 

the hat house exterior view amid trees, lit from within at dusk

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

The Hat House by Tina Bergman Architects

The project had to follow local planning regulations, which stipulated that nothing above 100 sq m can be built in the region – therefore, it was doubly important for the team to find the perfect spot to place the cabin, in order to maximise views, sense of space inside, and minimise its impact to the environment. 'I travelled to the site with my clients on an unusually warm weekend at the end of May: met with that intense green of newly sprung birch leaves and a near complete silence, our aim was to find a spot to place the building,' Bergman writes. 'We found it soon: a naturally formed clearing, withdrawn from the forest road, with views to the mountains and a lake to the south and west, and with yellow orchids growing in the east.'

living spaces in hat house, with a cabin feel

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

Made out of timber, the retreat resembles in form the home from a Swedish fairy tale about three children living in a hat – lending the house its name. At the same time, the structure takes its material cues from its natural environment, featuring a spruce floor, beautifully weathered Kebony pine heart cladding, with a glulam and softwood overall framework construction. Large windows further perfect this synergy between land and architecture. 'It is a house intensely following the seasons of the year; the blue faint light of midwinter, the bursting green of new summer, the misty yellows of the autumn mountains,' said Bergman. 

timber interiors inside hat house in sweden

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

hat house interior view with fireplace and dining table

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

timber-lined interior of hat house in sweden

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

detail of timber interiors at hat house, with hooks for coats

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

dog lies on rug in corridor inside hat house in sweden

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

the hat house at night

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

dog lies on bed in wood-clad bedroom

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

tinabergman.com 

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).