Atrium House is located on Gotland, the largest island off the coast of Sweden, and sits atop a ridge that marks where the shoreline was 1000 years ago. The sea has since then of course retreated and the house now looks out over fields on which sheep graze. It was designed by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter and houses a family with children as well as their grandmother who from the floor plan appears to have an annex in one corner of the house.
As you can see from the architect’s model above, Atrium House has a square layout with an enclosed courtyard at its centre. The rooms flow linearly and you will of course have to go all the way round to get from one side to the other. As a result the rooms are somewhat narrow but thanks to some enormous windows which also serve as sliding doors, and the minimalistic interior design scheme, Atrium House feels remarkably spacious.
There is something ruthlessly efficient about this house which at times borders on clinical. The land that Atrium House sits on gently undulates and so instead of going against nature and levelling the land, the Tham & Videgård architects have followed these slight hills and adjusted the floor levels of the rooms accordingly. As a result there are several step-ups around Atrium House as pictured here and as the roof remains level, the relative ceiling height varies throughout the house.
The ceilings are also interesting in that no internal finishing surfaces were applied leaving the bare wood exposed. This was done not only to give a raw minimalistic feel but also for practical reasons; to allow any moisture to evaporate in the event of a leak rather than damaging the wooden beams over time. The interior walls also merely display natural plaster and the exterior of Atrium House is rendered in grey.
Several stunning fireplaces and recessed shelves have been built into the internal walls of Atrium House to great effect. The beds have also been built into enclosed pods as pictured below. This may help to save space within a bedroom layout but I think they look quite claustrophobic to sleep in and not worth the compromise.
I do really like these cantilevered ledges though which appear to serve as beds in the kids rooms. There are three of these rooms in a row on the floor plan and the two recessed windows in each of them appear to lineup to form the external wall pictured below.
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