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Sandell Sandberg, Eriksberg, Sweden

Sleeping Above the Wildlife: House on Piles in Southern Sweden

Recently, camouflaged overnight accommodations in the wilderness have practically become their own typology. There is the green retreat on the island, the mountain hut packed in birch twigs, even an entire holiday village that uses some existing buildings in order to go undetected. These are only the newer Scandinavian examples. They have now been joined by an addition that brings its guests closer to nature by raising them off the ground.

Synvillan − this is what the architects from Sandellsandberg call the most recent house - is Swedish for “optical illusion”. With its reflective cladding of hammered, polished steel, the villa, which measures only 50 m2, appears not to be there at all. Set on four-metre-tall piles, it floats above the ground and twinklingly reflects the surrounding colours. Guests take a long exterior stairway to reach a protruding terrace and the house itself. Inside, up to four people can sleep and cook for themselves in a built-in kitchenette. However, the highlight of the house is the fourth window. This not located on the exterior façade; rather, it is set into the living-room floor. There is a feeding station directly beneath the window. With a bit of luck European bison, red deer, fallow deer, mouflon and wild boar will pass through the Eriksberg Nature Reserve on their forays. The reserve strives for biodiversity, and the new accommodations make it possible for visitors to observe the animals up close without disturbing them.

With the thatched hipped roof, Sandellsandberg arkitekter take up local building traditions and combine them with modern elements. The cabin is supplied with energy from solar power and gas. Indeed, the solar-power system could pass for an ornament topping the ridge of the roof.

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Photos: Åke E:son Lindman


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