Atrium House | Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
This is a Scandinavian holiday home with a difference! Atrium House is built on the Swedish island of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea. Built on a slight ridge that marks the former location of the coastline a thousand years ago, this is a spectacular setting. The house is built around a completely enclosed atrium courtyard that is designed to serve as a fixed point - a sheltered outdoor area. Surrounding the property is natural meadowland, where grazing sheep prevent the land from returning to forest.
Broad windows allow natural light to flood in to the starkly beautiful, minimalist interior. A stunning, unusual design feature of the house is that while the roof maintains a consistent elevation throughout the house, the interior floor rises and falls in accordance with the surrounding terrain. This means the height of the ceiling varies within the main spaces, which are arranged in a continuous ring around the atrium.
Grandmother’s room. Built-in box bed of waxed pine plywood. Fireplace and sliding window.
Inspired by the impressive solidity of Gotland’s agricultural architecture, the masonry construction has a natural plaster colour that has been mixed with carbon, exterior metal parts made of oxidised zinc, and oak doors, as well as windows, have been treated with tar oil. The large sliding glass windows are mounted on the surface of the exterior walls, inspired by rural barn doors. In addition, the interior doors are surface‐mounted, allowing the walls to appear unbroken.
This is the dining area, which overlooks the meadow and the sea to the south. The sliding glass panels allow the house to open up onto the farmland that surrounds it. The change in floor elevation is dimensioned to provide seating around the edge of the room.
The fireplace is a natural focal point of the living space, where the floor elevation is lower than the atrium, but coincides with the level surrounding the house. The finished floor is polished concrete slab, accentuating the clean lines and minimalist feeling of the property in a beautiful manner.
A view of the side of the property, with the soft glow of weak winter evening light. The surface-mounted sliding glass doors are of tar oiled oak, a preservative treatment that allows the wood to become grey over time, harmonising with the other facade materials.