Pine remains hugely popular with designers and architects seeking a modern yet warm and natural feel. This pine-clad summer house on a rocky island outcrop offers some beautiful inspiration for cabins, cottages and seaside getaways made of renewable materials.
Designed by Studio Holmberg and set on an island off Sweden’s archipelago of Gothenburg, Villa Vassdal was commissioned as a dreamy second home for a retired couple who wanted to take in views of the sea. The architects chose untreated pine to cover the entire exterior because it will turn silver over time, virtually camouflaged within the surrounding cliffs.
“The house is built on an island with historical connections to Gothenburg’s fishing and shipping industries. Today the island consists of family houses that are occupied year-round as well as holiday homes that are mostly used in the summer. Overlooking the sea and surrounded by exposed cliffs and wild vegetation, the house’s low profile is made up of a cluster of pitched roof volumes. Arranged in a staggered layout, the volumes are designed to blend in with the rocky landscape.”
“The house is oriented so that the clean-lined interior spaces take in views of the sea but are also shielded from the neighbors and the glare of the sun. Each of the four volumes that make up the house are allocated a specific function. The first is for sleeping and bathing as well as storage, the second is for cooking and dining, and the third is for the living room. The fourth smaller volume at the back functions as a tool shed but is also used as a summer guest room for the clients’ grandchildren.”
Inside, pale pine floors are set against smooth birch plywood walls and ceilings for a clean, minimalist effect that’s very Scandinvian. Perhaps the simplicity of the all-wood-and-white color palette isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great match for the moody seaside atmosphere, especially in summer when the cottage is most often in use.
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