Archipelago House: A Pine-Clad Summer Residence in Sweden

Architecture firm Norm Architects wanted this holiday home set on a scenic cliffside to be harmonious with nature, above all. Selecting natural materials that complement and blend in with the picturesque surroundings was a high priority for the design.

Their choice of knotty vertical pine for the exterior siding does just that, with a warm, textural presentation that’s also modern and luxurious. Wood is also carried into the interiors alongside other natural materials like stone and textiles.

Bright and open, this vacation home on the coast of Sweden embraces both Scandinavian and Japanese influences. Though it’s all one residence, it actually consists of four distinct volumes staggered across the cliff, with simple shapes that echo those of the boathouses on the water. The architects hoped the home would ultimately look like a natural extension of the site instead of an imposition.

Interior features include floor-to-ceiling oak cupboards, dark wood vanities, stone tile and Japanese-inspired lanterns made of washi paper by Kojima Shouten. Together, these materials, clean lines and daylight combine to create a zen-like sense of calm.

“Harmoniously embodying chaos and order, nature is a constant inspiration to human kind and will survive long after our extinction,” the architects write. “Therefore nature should always be considered a guideline rather than a simple component. The wooden structure is harmoniously merged with the surrounding nature and draws inspiration from the local building traditions found in boathouses on the rocky shores. Set into the cliff, the house consists of four wooden volumes interlocked and connected by a terraced wooden deck that follows the sloping plot.”

“The fact that human and nature are inseparable makes it all the more vital to have nature be part of our indoor environments – living surfaces, soft and calming nuances that makes us feel at ease. The color and material-scheme of the interior is kept in natural, muted high-end materials that reflect the nature outside. There is not only a direct connection and transparency between inside and outside in this house, but also a more symbolic connection in terms of material and color use.”