Tag Archives: WAN

house of the year 2013

I attended WAN House of the Year award night in London late last week. It went to this house, a summer house on an island in the Stockholm archipelago by Swedish studio Tham & Videgård Arkitekter.

The most striking thing about the house is its simple, dynamic form: a row of zig-zagging, raw concrete gables that stretch across the site like a line of boathouses. Rather than the usual vernacular of a timber dwelling drawing on the forest for its context, the building takes its inspiration from the granite bedrock found on the island. One of the gables forms a glass canopy roofing the terrace, that also splits the building into two separate volumes. This provides a vista through the building to the seafront from the forest beyond and vice versa, as well as acting as the entrance.  Three of the gables house the living and dining rooms; pale ash doors doors slide open to reveal the bedrooms behind.

Along with the facade, the terrace and interior floors are made of exposed concrete. The raw concrete has been cast in-situ against plywood boards, giving a subtle grain and wonderfully worn quality to the surface. The interior is simply painted white, window frames and joinery are ash.


House Lagnö by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, here. Photography: Åke E:son Lindman

What do you think of house of the year? It’s certainly less dramatic than last year’s winner, here

house of the year.

A little further from home this time, this house has just been awarded House of the Year 2012 by World Architecture News (WAN), the global architecture news web-site.

The location is spectacular – situated on top of a granite rock, overlooking a man-made dam. Rather than being overwhelmed by its elevation, the house appears to float over it, with changing levels to take advantage of the views all around. It is a relatively simple structure, with two granite blocks, excavated from the site, to anchor the building and enclose the bedrooms; an over-sized timber platform and roof to protect from the harsh sun, and two glass boxes spanning between. All materials are locally sourced, except the specialist items – the glass, for example.

The magic lies with the shifting planes, which follow the gradient of the hillside perch. A sunken terrace here, an over-sailing roof there.


Gota Residence, East Africa, by Sforza Seilern Architects. Read what the judges said, here.

More wonderful spaces, here