House on a hill / Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
Text description provided by the architects. Only a twenty minute drive from the city center, this house is built on a site that exemplifies the close access to unspoiled nature not far outside of central Stockholm. In this case, a large plot of land extends from the waterline, where a boathouse sits on the water, up a steep wooded slope to an open plateau at the top of the hill where the main house is located.
The access road rises along a steep cliff from the land side which means that the house is approached from below and that the extraordinary position of the house with wide views out over the archipelago landscape can only be fully understood once the main level is reached has.
The clients, a very active family that divides their time between city and nature, wanted a home for both quiet seclusion and entertaining with friends with a very direct connection to the landscape. We envisioned the house as reduced to a pure structure where interior and exterior spaces blend and let the emphasis remain on the natural beauty outside. A vertical figure, free-standing like a lighthouse or a large-scale sundial, and cast entirely in concrete firmly anchored to the exposed rock.
The program is organized in a three-level section: entrance and services on the souterrain level, social spaces on the middle and main terrace level, and private family rooms on the top. The facade structure makes no distinction between these levels and, through its 45° rotation between each floor, creates a certain labyrinthine effect where the landscape outside becomes a reference point also for movement inside the house.
Around the perimeter, the folded layout leads to a series of windbreak terraces that follow the movement of the sun. From a distance, the origami-like folded and rotated volume offers alternative readings of mass and void, lending the building a simultaneously solid and transparent quality.