Lesson Learned?

Lesson Learned?

Summerhouse Lagnö

As we know today, as parables, fables convey an educational message.

And if there is one fable of which one might think it directly addressed architects, it would be the fable of the Three Little Pigs. You know it, each of the pigs builds a house for protecting itself from the big bad wolf: one made of straw, the other of wood, and the last made of stone. The first two houses are being destroyed by the wolf with his hurricane-like breath and their residents become victims of what wolves do to unprotected pigs. On the stone house of the remaining pig, however, the power of the wolf's breath has no effect.

Looking at the Summerhouse Lagnö in the Stockholm archipelago, one could almost think, the architects had thought of this fable when planning the house. For when someone, in a material approach to the surrounding nature, chooses concrete (as a reference to granite rocks) over wood (as a reference to trees), it is quite a statement. It is as if the third pig would squeak from the off: “That's how it's done.” However, whether the architects of Tham & Videgard Arkitekter actually thought of the fable of the Three Little Pigs, or simply chose a material easier to maintain than wood, is anyone's guess. But fact is: the Summerhouse Lagnö consists of concrete, from the base to the top of the roofs.

A House made of Stone

The summerhouse comprises two separate volumes, which are connected by and accessed via a roofed outdoor area. The main volume has three saddle roofs of different heights, that create several sections in the interior by diverging ceiling heights. The major exception from the otherwise omnipresent concrete is the facade of the house that faces the sea. This facade is characterized by glazed sliding doors that spread over the entire length of the volume. Behind them lies a single living area. Behind a wall of wooden sliding doors, there are a bathroom, a kitchen, and the three bedrooms that are lit by skylights in the roof. The facade on the rear is, except for a small kitchen window, plain, naked concrete.

The second, smaller volume is similar to the main building in its design. A glazed sliding door dominates the main facade, and a wall of sliding doors separates the front area from the rear. But this building volume has only one single saddle roof. The front part of the interior is a studio, whereas a tea kitchen, a bathroom, and a utility room are found in the back. In front of the smaller volume, a small pool is embedded into the gigantic (concreted) terrace.

By the way:

If the fable of the Three Little Pigs actually dealt with architecture, then modern building materials like glass should not be missing in it. But since it is probably actually about diligence and hard work, the fable will presumably do without an encounter of pig and wolf with glass between them even for the next hundred years.

Project details


Completion: 2012


Built area: 140 m²


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billmarket17's picture
billmarket17 24. January 2016 - 21:34

These days, the materials used to build houses are very versatile, you can easily have a modern house built only from wood or you can combine the stone with the metal in a natural way to build an amazing house. The sky is your limit. Also, you can buy modern home products, like these architectural louvers and other related items to boost your home comfort and appearance.