“In a summerhouse, a certain amount of reduction might be soothing to the mind.” So says architect Johan Sundberg, designer of the Sommarhus Akenine in southern Sweden. Simplicity, focus, and intention are his tools of reduction for this two-bedroom cabin that has the Baltic Sea as a front yard and a maritime forest out back.
The Scandinavians have a way with straight lines. Unafraid to fully commit to vast expanses of repeating, straight, and square facades, the simplicity of the aesthetic can often pack more power than a complex design. In this case, the architect took care to ensure the strength of the geometry wouldn’t weigh down the intention of the house, by literally elevating the home on steel girders and including walls of windows to flood light from one side to the other.
Even the interior design, a category in which the Swedish touch is globally recognized, plays directness against the unexpected. The white larch floors, gallery white walls, and efficient kitchen are Scandinavian staples. Lest things get too serious, the primary focal wall of the living space is splashed with patterned, bright colors.
So is simplicity soothing to the mind? It’s certainly a matter of preference. Mix in the sound of gentle waves crashing at the pebble shore and offshore breezes whistling through the trees, however, and the opportunities for disagreement tighten significantly.
Photos by Peo Olsson.
Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.