When clients asked architect Johan Sundberg to design a holiday home in the tiny town of Ljunghusen, located at the southwesternmost tip of Sweden on a small peninsula in the sound, he saw an opportunity to go beyond the Swedish/Danish midcentury style in which his firm usually works.
"We wanted to move out of our comfort zone typology-wise," he says, "and see where the Japanese courtyard houses would take us using Swedish carpenters and a normal budget."
The 200-square-meter home is located in a pine forest on a sandy piece of land adjacent to Falsterbo channel, and a key requirement from the clients—a family of four with two teenage children—was to connect with the home with the landscape.
A sandy Siberian larch facade helps the home blend in with its surroundings, and a large wooden deck that surrounds the house on all sides but one extends the living spaces outside.
The eaves of the gently sloped hipped roof extend generously in all directions, turning the deck into a covered retreat that’s part veranda, part engawa, the Japanese version of a porch.
Another detail borrowed from Japanese architecture is the rain chains, or kusari-doi, at the corners of the roof. An alternative to drainpipes that double as a water feature, they’re as practical as they are pretty.
The house is designed in a single-story T-shape, which allows for direct access to the outdoors from every room. Sliding glass doors in the main living space and master bedroom make the transition seamless.
Sundberg oriented the house toward the movement of the sun, so the eastern arm of the T, which holds the children’s rooms and living spaces, gets the bright morning sun, while the west side, with the master suite, gets the softer evening light. There’s an outdoor room of sorts on either side.
"It's like a chain of indoor and outdoor rooms oriented around the T-shape," says Sundberg.
The plan itself is rather simple, but the structure is more complicated than it looks. Sundberg notes that the biggest challenge of the project was "getting the timber structure—with all the protruding parts, the pillars, and roofs—to work together structurally and have nice dimensions in the connecting members."
While the clients commissioned the home, which was completed last year, as a summer house, Sundberg says that they also spent their Christmas here. He notes, "It has summer ideas and summer vibes, but it works in all weathers."
Builder: Niklas Samberg, Magnus Olofsson
Structural Engineer: Gustav Svensson
Civil Engineer: Itziar del Rio Gomiz
Landscape Design: Anders Folkesson
Lighting Design: LjusMiljö
Interior Design: Moulienne Giesecke Form
Cabinetry Design: Kasper Thulin
Photography: Markus Linderoth
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