A client wanted help to build a small summer house inside of an old shed at an island in the northern Stockholm archipelago. The shed is just next to the Baltic Sea and has been exposed to overflows every tenth year or so. Knowing that the house probably will be hit by another overflow and the fact that we were only allowed to build inside the shed forced a specific design. To build a totally waterproof house would be too expensive, so this house is constructed as a lizard’s tail. If one part of the building gets exposed to water that particular part can easily be replaced without affecting the rest of the building.
The whole building is constructed by spruce boards and spruce pillars and with no synthetic materials in its lower regions. The horizontal spruce boards can be taken away when exposed to water to dry and later be put back or be replaced by new ones. The house is insulated like a hat to not be affected by an overflow. The electric parts of the house are also put in the higher regions of the house and will not be affected by an extreme overflow.
Since the client mostly spends his time there during the summer, we also had to come up with a warning system if the water levels have been reaching the construction underneath the floor and need to be ventilated during overflow season, which is usually at spring time. The warning system became a rising totem pole where the face changes its mood depending on how high the water level has reached underneath the house.
Since the shed was too slanted we could not rely on its structure and had to build a totally new house inside. To get as much space as possible we tried to build as close as possible to the old structure, giving the floor plan a long niche along one of the walls where we decided to put a battery of functions. The battery consists of a small kitchenette, a storage space and an expandable bunk bed which is all constructed out of spruce boards as well. One positive outcome of that is that you have the best view in the house from the bed so you can fall asleep watching the bay’s midsummer sunset. The only change to the existing façade is the big window and a wooden terrace with a outhouse on it towards the sea and a new entrance door, hardly exposing the building’s new function which gives a pleasant surprise for visitors.
We did not design what furniture that would be put into the house but since the house will be occupied by lots of people with a sailing and surf interest we made a back wall filled with wooden hangers. Since a lot of the stuff that will be hanging on that wall will have sail and surf aesthetics. We made wall lamps using Nixon masks “Point Break” style to match all of those gadgets.