Lead Architects: Mathias Holmberg
Text description provided by the architects. Villa Vassdal is situated on a small island in the Gothenburg archipelago. The island is historically connected to the fishing and shipping industries of Gothenburg. Today the island consists of year-round family houses and vacation homes mostly used in the summer. The site is right by the sea surrounded by nature. It is a distinctive place for this coastal region of Sweden, with exposed cliffs and barren greenery growing close to the ground shielded from strong winds.
The house is site-specific regarding volume, materials, and function. It is imitating the characteristics and scale of the site with a low profile and broken up shifting volumes. All facades and roofs are clad in untreated heart-pine, creating a solid expression highlighting the volumes as well as matching the raw cliffs. The transformation of the material over time makes the house blend with its surroundings more and more as the wood greys. The division and shifting of volumes creates weather protected and secluded spaces but also hints at the interior layout.
Each volume marks a shift of function, creating division with space in addition to walls. The interior spaces are oriented to shield from neighbors and the sun but opens up towards the sea and maintain a close but different relationship to the exterior from every room. Moving through the house provides a choreographed experience with shifting sightlines, culminating with a view out towards the sea. The exterior expression of solidity and use of wood continues on the inside with walls and ceilings in birch plywood, meant to focus the experiences of the space.