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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Refugium of a Forester in Varberg, Sweden by Petra Gipp Architect

March 23rd, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Petra Gipp 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 barn are solitarily located.

Image Courtesy Björn Lofterud

  • Architects: Petra Gipp Architect
  • Project: Refugium of a Forester
  • Location: Varberg, Sweden
  • Structural engineer: Peter Bojrup, Structor AB
  • Contractor: Mattias Andersson, Designwork
  • Photographs: Björn Lofterud
  • Model constructor: Veronica Carlsson
  • Project year: 2007
  • Project area: 108 sqm

Petra Gipp

The barn connects to the newly constructed wood road. Here the forest opens up and creates a place where the encounter between the modern forestry and the old forest are made visible. Here, the forest guard is working with demands for rational forestry and recreation, for peace of mood and sense.

Image Courtesy Björn Lofterud

On the top of the hill, the refugium is situated, low-voiced and functional, with the dark introvert façade where only the entrance box breaks the otherwise austere façade. Not before walking along the steep slope towards the house one sees, through the entrance box and the whole building, the magnificent view over the woods and the lake, which with its mist creates an almost bewitching atmosphere.

Windowpanes and picture planes at different distances supported by the guidelines formed by 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 caring inside and the wild external.

Image Courtesy Björn Lofterud

The two volumes in tarred wood stand on an open foundation and details out of concrete, zinc and teak grants sophistication. The volumes are distinct and the details are carefully made to express the architectural entirety of these two buildings.

The varying wood facade folds in under the volume, its corners are mitred and it follows the jutting and suppressed parts, externally as well as internally. The window details are made out of teak, while the fireplace and the exposed surfaces are made out of concrete, for instance the entrance floor and the kitchen- and bathroom work surfaces.

Image Courtesy Björn Lofterud

To build within a nature reserve, it is required to take a stand in regard to the inhabitation of the old forest; humbleness towards the forest despite the interference is necessary. A foundation high above the ground indicates the wish to leave the ground untouched, visually and conceptually. Casting a fireplace effectively states the necessity of making it possible to inhabit the place.

The architectural interpretation of the refugium has the intention to represent a habitation and workplace for the care and administration of the forest in forthcoming generations.

1st prize – Swedish Magazine of Architecture, emerging architecture,

Image Courtesy Björn Lofterud

Image Courtesy Björn Lofterud

Image Courtesy Björn Lofterud

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