Look Out Lodge
Anders Berensson Architects has designed and partly built an extension to a house in the Stockholm archipelago. To keep a low budget and still being able to elaborate with architecture the office divided the house into two categories. “The house box” that is designed like a simple box to be built on site with local materials and building techniques and the “Prefabricated architectural elements” that are designed and prefabricated by the architects and later inserted into the house during the building process.
The house is designed with a focus on simplicity and function just big enough to host a sleeping area and a small space for working. The office then focused on designing two custom-made windows that could be built and prefabricated by the architects for those two spaces and purposes. One window to look towards the outside fields while working and one window to look towards the sky when resting or falling asleep. Another goal with the design was to redefine the idea of a window as a flat readymade glass piece into an architectural element that creates its own space with a clear focus towards the outside. This goal led to the design of a sky tower one can crawl into when being in bed totally dedicated to the sky and one corner window with a desk inserted to it that creates a work space on the inside and table for flowers on the outside with a clear focus and direction to the outside field. The office also designed and built the lamps and some other small architectural details that could be added on during the building process.
Looking towards a starry sky when falling asleep is a countryside luxury. We wanted to enhance that feeling by making a round tower dedicated to that view where you can lay down in bed and only see and focus on the sky above. At day time the tower takes in a lot of light and is a good place to sit and read. At night time it is the perfect place to study the stars and space. The towers inside is cladded with spruce boards with a sky light on top that appears invisible when looking out.
The outside of the tower is cladded with overlapping boards. There is a local tradition of making jig saw patterns in this type of façade so we decided to design a pattern of big animals, amphibians, birds, flowers and fishes that are living in the archipelago and the Baltic Sea.
The Desk window
The Stockholm archipelago is known for its fantastic flora of wild flowers, outside the house lies a meadow with many of the species represented. We designed this window to focus on this local treasury. The spruce board celling continues seamlessly above the window and protrude long enough to cover the sky and direct sun light framing a view towards the meadow. A desk is inserted through the corner window. On the outside the desk I made out of terracotta red concrete with holes for flowers to grow. The concrete was casted against the cutaway part of the wood board sitting on the inside so one can see the subtle pattern of the wood continue into the red concrete board outside. The inside of the desk is made of birch plywood with holes cut out for different purposes. The biggest hole is for sitting in the corner looking out. A bench going under the desk in the corner creates divan type of chair where the whole becomes the armrest. The mid-size holes are for ventilation, cables, lamps and pencils, the tiny holes are pencil sharpeners.
The window was inserted after the primary structure and the cladding was done by first placing the glass and then the boards holding it in place. The desk on the inside and outside was then added as the last piece of the window. The concrete casting and the wood desk was built by the office in Stockholm and transported to the site. Unfortunately those photographs were lost.
The tower was prefabricated on site and added when the primary structure was up.
The construction of the tower was made by jig sawed horizontally placed plywood sheets interlocking with vertical studs. The last layer of boards with the pattern of the local fauna was jig sawed and mounted at the end of the building process.
The lampshades of thin birch plywood that was cut, boiled and bent into its shape and then mounted on different stands depending on function. The lamps was added as the last piece to the building.
Anders Berensson Architects has designed a small extension to a summer house in the Stockholm archipelago. The project has a limited budget and we promised the client to design the cheapest and easiest extension possible with one reservation, that the firm would design and build the windows instead of buying standard ones. The two new windows fixes what’s missing in the existing house, a work space, a quiet and bright place to read and a sky tower with a window on top to look at the stars at night. The house also features some advanced gingerbread carpentry at the sky tower. The ground breaking of the house has just started and the house should be finished next summer.
Look Out Creatures
When collaborating with gruff carpenters it is sometimes healthy to break up the position architect-carpenter by throw in something unexpected. This concrete guinea pig and other small creatures where casted into the plinths when the carpenters left for the weekend. A subtle message saying we are watching you and might improve your work at any time.