Dec 02, 2022 / Architecture
House on a Hill by Tham & Videgård

House on a Hill is a minimal residence located in Värmdö, Sweden, designed by Tham & Videgård. This house is located on a site that exemplifies the close access to unspoiled nature not far outside of central Stockholm and is only twenty minutes’ drive from the city center. In this instance, a substantial area of land extends from the water’s edge, where a boathouse is situated, up through a precipitous forested slope to an open plateau at the top of the hill, where the main house is situated. The house is approached from below due to the access road rising along a steep cliff from the landside, so the extraordinary position of the house with its expansive views of the archipelago landscape can only be fully appreciated once reached at the main level. The customers, a very busy family who divides their time between the city and outdoors, wanted a home with a strong connection to the countryside for both quiet seclusion and entertaining with friends.

The architects imagined the house as being reduced to a simple structure, with indoor and outdoor areas blending together and the focus remaining on the surrounding landscape. A vertical sculpture made completely of concrete that stands alone like a sundial or a lighthouse and is firmly fixed into the bedrock. The program is divided into three levels, with the souterrain level serving as the entry point and service level, the middle and major terrace levels serving as social areas, and the top level serving as private family rooms. The façade structure blurs the lines between these levels and, by rotating 45 degrees between each floor, produces a sort of labyrinthine effect where the exterior landscape serves as a point of reference for movement both inside and outside the home. The folded layout around the perimeter creates a series of sun-following terraces that are protected from the wind.

Photography by Åke E:son Lindman