STOCKHOLM – A few minutes off the coast of the Swedish capital is the Stockholm archipelago – a substantial cluster of islands and rock formations – where a family with two daughters has frequented the same summerhouse for 25 years. When grandchildren came along, the expanding family decided to build another house close by. Legally-enforced restrictions in the area meant that architecture firm Krupinski/Krupinska Arkitekter was bound to a maximum footprint of 40 sq-m. With a relatively small canvas to work on, the key focus for this project was in creating a small house with a big character.
Corridors take up so much space. Here, the architect offers a clever alternative by adopting a ‘box within a box’ feeling, introducing a secondary structure which uses its corners to create privacy and negate the need for internal doors. The shared living spaces are fully exposed to the surrounding landscape by means of floor-to-ceiling glazing which makes up three of the four elevations of the exterior façade of the summerhouse, offering 360-degree movement around the internal perimeter. Two of the walls are sliding windows that can be opened to extend the living area out onto the terrace, where the overhanging roof provides protection from the elements.
Private rooms are incorporated into the internal structure – a cube clad entirely in a dark pine-plywood with a blemish-free surface. The same timber extrudes out of the property to the underside of the eaves. The sleeping areas for the parents and the children are inset in alcoves on opposite sides of the kitchen, which forms a channel through the centre. Only the bathroom has a door, which leads down to a separated outhouse fitted into an existing gap in a nearby rock. The dark colours are used throughout the interior to enhance the feeling of intimacy, as well as diverting attention to the brightness of the external landscape, while the freedom of movement around the property gives the house a feeling of being larger than it actually is.