Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Villa at Amundön in Brottkärr, Gothenburg by Wingårdh Arkitektkontor (designed using AutoCAD)
October 25th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Wingårdh Arkitektkontor
In spite of its location by the sea Gothenburg has very few residences with sites by the water. This unique site therefore called for special care and treatment, and for various reasons Wingårdh has designed buildings on it on three different occasions and for three different clients. The house that has now been built is for a family consisting of two adults, two teenage daughters and a small son.
More than in any other house this site offered a chance to utilise the principle of a quiet, closed entrance side, which is contrasted by extreme openness in the other direction. The entrance is naturally framed by two rocks and is on the upper floor of the house, which made it possible to restrict the height of the building. The powerful impact of the entrance with the direct walk up towards the secretively closed walls comes to a dramatic climax in the monumental room of the staircase hall. The impact of the view towards the water and the island opposite through the seven-metre-high glass, the straight stone stair whose length is extended by the perspective effect of the walls, and the high space as a contrast to the low entrance is exceptionally striking This axis goes right through the house and continues in the pool, which, owing to its divergent form, reflects the converging sides of the staircase hall.
The actual building embraces the view in a slight V-form. The building opens up maximally towards the west and as in, among others, the case of the Nilsson residence, the terrace’s glass roof falls inwards towards the house. The sloping-site solution creates a dark rear, which does however receive light in the kitchen part through a slit. Behind the kitchen, blasted into the rock, there is storage accommodation and the elevator to the garage which is the normal entrance to the house. The hourglass principle, which characterises many of Wingårdh’s larger projects, is used here with almost demonstrative clarity. The staircase becomes the passage through which the flow of the house is collected.
The residence at Amundön goes under the sign of magnificence. Floor heights of 3.30 metres are followed up in French windows and furniture and the comb-shaped plan emphasises the monumentality of the view. The grandiose aspect was originally even more marked, but was toned down when cuts in costs were made. The garage elevation, which was originally intended to be in stone, was to have had an equivalent wall as a counterpart which would have given the entrance a more enclosed atmosphere, and the room height was originally four metres, with floor to ceiling doors. These cuts have dampened the strongly consistent bearing of the house, which could have been possible. To an extent dampened monumentality can be for the good. A home should be intimate rather than monumental. But at present the planning and design has not been carried to its extreme and the villa is powerful but lacking any clear atmosphere.
The impact of the spatial sequences of the entrance remains clear in one’s memory. Here the preconditions of the location have been utilised in a self-evident fashion and the contrasts play simply and clearly against one another.
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