Architect Johan Sundberg’s tree house hides in Swedish scenery
This private summer retreat in Sweden designed by Lund-based architect Johan Sundberg is submerged into its green surroundings, yet wide open to views of the sea through its sliding glazed facade to the south – it has us dreaming of long days and Scandiavian summers
In the scenic Swedish resort town of Mölle, Johan Sundberg Arkitektur has tucked a compact retreat in the tree-tops overlooking the sea. Positioned on a steep incline of land, thickly covered by deciduous trees, the structure is anchored by 12 slim, steel columns that create the effect of a floating tree-house in the foliage.
Materials were chosen to reflect the natural surroundings and help camouflages the retreat into its location. Exterior elements such as the façade boards and balcony railings were coloured in subdued green hues, while the frames of the doors and windows are aluminium powder coated in black. The sturdy dark grey stone helps the inhabitants feel safe inside while suspended in nature.
Hiding the house in its environment was one of the conditions of the local planning department when designing the house. The coast of the Kulla peninsula is saturated with holiday houses, and Lund-based architect Johan Sundberg’s challenge was to leave as little imprint on the landscape as possible, and to leave any neighbour’s views and land undisturbed.
The effect for the inhabitants of Sommarhus Solviken is welcomed – looking outside the bedroom window is like diving into nature itself. ‘You greet the squirrel every day as if he were another family member,’ jokes Sundberg, who was featured in the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2010 and completed the Japanese-inspired Sommarhus T in Ljunghusen last year.
The simple rectangular plan of the Sommarhus Solviken modestly conceals it’s strategic modernism. There are no corridors, and the rooms cleverly interlock together with a custom-designed oak interior, with ten metres of glass partitions to the south, ready to be fully opened up for the best sea-views.
‘I like to imagine the house as a small chest, a finely carved cabinet in which all details are pieced together into an integrated whole,’ says Sundberg. §