Tent-Like Summerhouse in the Stockholm Archipelago

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Tent-like Summerhouse in the Stockholm Archipelago

The architectural office Tham & Vidergård has pitched a tent in the Swedish archipelago. Learn more about the tent-like summerhouse in the Stockholm archipelago.

On the relatively small island of Krokholmen in Stockholm’s outer archipelago, a “tent” stands among windswept dwarf pines and rocky outcrops. The cedar cabin evokes associations with family holidays under dewy tent canvas, where the sea reveals itself when you pull down the zip and look out with morning-weary eyes. The ridge is as narrow as a knife edge, and the roof – which shapes the entire body of the building – is an extremely exaggerated gable roof.

The summerhouse offers expansive views towards the nearby Almagrundet lighthouse in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Estonia.  The lighthouse’s name refers to the Norwegian brig Alma which ran aground in an area that was then thought to be free of reefs.

Tent-like Summerhouse in the Stockholm Archipelago
The summerhouse offers expansive views towards the nearby Almagrundet lighthouse in the Baltic Sea.

Tent-like space and silhouette

“The house’s tent-like space and silhouette are linked to the idea of staying in nature in an uncomplicated way,” says architect Martin Videgård of the architectural office Tham & Videgård in Stockholm,” but it is also inspired by the older Swedish pavilion and gazebo architecture – light buildings carefully placed in the landscape.” The family wanted a maintenance-free vacation home in one level with social space both inside and outside.

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View in three directions

The architects proposed a two-part plan. Through a central wall holding the fireplace, a narrow opening gives access to bedrooms, bath and storage, that are oriented to the forest in the west. The large family room with kitchen and entrance could thus face out towards the sea with daylight and view in three directions. A screen of wood and glass runs around the house and unite interior and exterior spaces on a base of in-situ cast concrete.

Tent-like Summerhouse in the Stockholm Archipelago
Martin Videgård (left) and Bolle Tham (right).

The living room opens up through large sliding doors onto three terraces, one of which is sheltered from the winds and facing south, and one is completely open to the water to the east. The building section with a unifying arcuate roof creates the spatial quality of the interior but also defines the entire character of the building. The horizontal openness of the main space out towards the sea is balanced by its verticality, an internal ridge height of 6 meters (18 feet).

Tent-like Summerhouse in the Stockholm Archipelago
Krokholmen house by Tham & Videgård.

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The building’s structure is made entirely from timber, apart from a steel girder that distributes loads above the main facade. The curving zinc-clad roof reaches a height of six meters at its apex and is supported by curving glulam beams that meet at a beam running along the roof’s ridge.

Tent-like Summerhouse in the Stockholm Archipelago, text description and photos provided by the architects.

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