Architect Petra Gipp Arkitektur
Structural engineer Peter Bojrup – Structor AB
Contractor Mattias Andersson – Designwork
Photographer Björn Lofterud
Year 2007
Project Location Varberg – Sweden
Built Area 108 m2 (1.160 sq ft)
Bedrooms 3

Plan / Elevations

Forrester’s House

From the architect:
The nature reserve of Grimeton is part of Åkulla beech woods area, situated a couple of miles east of Varberg, close to the world heritage of Grimeton. It is a dramatic nature that rises over the flat arable lands along the seaboard. Highly situated on a plateau by one of the smaller lakes, Rörsjön, the refugium and the service building are solitarily located.

The service building connects to the newly constructed road. Here, the forest opens up and creates a place where the encounter between the modern forestry and the old forest are made visible. This is where the forester works, needing space and the right conditions to be able to perform rational forestry, as well as space for recreation.

At the top of the hill, the refugium is situated. Quiet and functional, with its reserved façade where only the entrance breaks the otherwise austere exterior. At the end of the walk along the ridge towards the house, a sight line through the entrance and the building provides a first glimpse of the magnificent view of the woods and the lake, which with its mist creates an almost bewitching atmosphere.

Windowpanes and picture planes at different distances supported by the directionality of the walls, together with the vertical forest enhance the drama of these woods; a desire for a strong experience and a sharp contrast between the soothing inside and the wilderness outside.

The two volumes in tarred wood stand on an open foundation and are refined by details in cast in place concrete, zinc and teak. The volumes are distinct and the details are carefully designed to express the architectural Gestalt of these two buildings.

The varying wood facade folds in under the volume, its corners are mitered and it follows the projecting and indented parts, on the exterior as well as on the interior. The window details are made out of teak, while the fireplace and other surfaces that get exposed to much wear are cast in concrete.

Building within a nature reserve requires awareness in regard to the way the old forest should be inhabited; humility towards the forest despite the encroachment that building means. Placing the slab on plinths high above ground indicates the wish to leave the ground untouched, visually and conceptually. At the same time, casting the fireplace on the ground signifies the necessary step to making it possible to inhabit the place.

The architectural interpretation of the forester’s refugium intends to represent a home and workplace for future generations of care and management of the forest.

Petra Gipp Arkitektur

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