First published on Dezeen.com, 26 February 2015
Described by the architect as being “a bit like a treehouse for adults”, this wooden house in rural Sweden boasts a triangular profile that allows the sloping facade to become a climbing wall.
Architect Leo Qvarsebo designed the summer retreat for himself and his children. Positioned between a patch of woodland and a green pasture in Dalarna, the Qvarsebo Summerhouse was designed to make the most of its picturesque setting.
Large picture windows frame views over the landscape, while the front of the building opens out to a generous terrace featuring enough space for sun loungers and a frame for two swings.
There is even a rope connected to the peak of the roof so that residents can climb up the slope of the facade.
The triangular profile creates a hierarchy of spaces inside the split-level structure. At the bottom is a spacious living room and kitchen, while rooms on the upper levels become increasingly compact and intimate.
“The house is a bit like a treehouse for adults,” he continued. “The climb to the top is via several levels and offers both views and privacy. From each level of the house you can see up to the next, creating a curiosity to continue to climb and once you’re up, the view is breathtaking.”
The first of three large south-facing windows is located in front of the kitchen, creating a dining area that can open out to the terrace. A second and third can be found on the two uppermost levels, creating dormer windows that project out from the sloping facade.
According to Qvarsebo, these bay windows accommodate the three requirements of the self-initiated brief, which he lists as “cooking outdoors and indoors, a quiet reading area and a bedroom beneath the stars”.
Walls and ceilings throughout the interior are lined with birch plywood, which the architect sourced from a closed-down puzzle factory. This material also extends across the staircases and several pieces of built-in furniture, while doors and windows are all second-hand.
A storage area is slotted into unused ceiling space above the ground floor, while the two children’s rooms are located up another half-flight of stairs. Qvarsebo’s bedroom is located at the top of the building, accessed via a study on the mezzanine floor below.
The building has an entirely wooden frame and the facade is clad with pine panels.