House Karlsson

tva-karlsson-exterior1House Karlsson, Tidö-Lindö, Västerås.

Nominated for Best Wooden Building Award 2004.

This one family house is situated on the northern coast of the lake Mälaren in central Sweden.  A starting point has been the simple constructions of rural buildings and the architecture of Swedish barns and warehouses, some traces of which can still be seen between the many new type houses at Tidö-Lindö. The clients, a couple in their sixties, wanted a house for themselves with space to accommodate visiting children and friends.

tva-karlsson-interior

The brief is defined in two parts: a complete living floor at entrance level, and an upper floor that is only partly finished, representing a future possible extension within the house. Aiming to meet a need for cheap construction, the plan is strictly based on a cc1200 module. Due to this and to the use of standard building components the costs were kept extremely low, at the time thirty to fifty percent less than average.

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The prismatic exterior is clad with an oversized wooden panel made of heartwood of slowly grown pine and treated with red tar, a way of reinterpreting the technique of wooden roofs that has been in use for centuries in Scandinavia, mostly in the north and on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

Freely placed windows in two sizes punctuate the roof and the facades. Fixed screen-like shutters complement the varied interior light as well as the pattern of shadow and light of the outside. All exterior fittings and details are painted in the same colour as the facade.

In contrast to the deep red exterior, the interior space is very light. It is characterised by the three light shafts that rise through the attic to let the sunlight enter also from above. Two are situated at the short walls of the open living room, the third marks the position of the stair at the south gable.

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Combining rooms in a suite with transverse passages the plan offers several alternative movements through the house. Windows are placed to further enhance the difference of the interior spaces by alternatingly directing the views low towards the garden, far away towards the lake and the horizon, or high up at the trees and the sky above.

Architects: Bolle Tham, Martin Videgård
Collaborators: John Billberg, Fredrik Olsson, Claes Sörstedt, Måns Tham.