It is hard to imagine a more picturesque place than Gotland, an island off the coast of Sweden. The island is located in the Baltic sea and has deep architectural roots; one of the best-preserved medieval villages in the world sits at its centre. Gotland is a favourite for summer holidayers, attracted by its long sandy beaches and lush landscape.
The idyllic scenery of Gotland is the backdrop of Atrium House, a modern vacation home designed by Tham & Videgård. Situated on a hill just off the coast, the dwelling hardly disrupts its natural landscape. The exterior was designed to look like a low wall, barely registering along the far-reaching coastline. It’s easy to imagine Atrium House, swathed in a light grey plaster, simply blending into the sky on cloudy days.
Expansive windows are cut into the facade. On the outside, the window glass reflects the trees and sky. On the interior, however, the windows open the cabin to the full visual pleasures of Gotland’s landscape. Sky, sea, forest, fields: all are visible from any of the home’s windows. In the summer, the muted colours of the interior are contrasted against greens and blues. The home’s surroundings are covered in snow during the long northern winter, a blank canvas backdrop against which the architecture truly shines.
Each corner of the home serves a different function, living quarters for the three generations that holiday here, and a common living room and kitchen. The floor plan is designed traditionally, with a courtyard at the centre and the rooms situated around it. The courtyard allows Atrium House a protected outdoor area, extending the scope of the home when in use.
Atrium House was inspired by the architecture of Gotland. Gotland’s traditional agricultural architecture was a key precedent, as was the construction of a historic wooden medieval fortress on the island. Materiality is a significant component in the design of this home. Most of the walls are covered in plaster in a warm neutral tone. The wooden ceiling, comprised of light oak, is a clear nod to the built environment that inspired the design. The light grey floors tie together the interior aesthetic. A scattering of furnishings, most in classic Scandinavian design, complete the look.