Perched above the city of Gothenburg, villa Woldu have breathtaking views that reach out to the west and over the city below. For visitors to the house this stunning vista is their reward when they reach the top of the road that climbs up from the main highway east to Stockholm. As you come around the last corner, suddenly the whole of the city spreads out before you.
The building consists of two volumes. The first one to the north is almost entirely closed, one storey high and reaches from the street to the edge of the cliff in a long narrow rectangular form. The other volume is over two storeys and square-shaped. Juxtaposed, they form an L-shape which frames the entrance court in the east. A glassed entrance area faces towards the street and reveals the view through the building.
The landscaping on the street side is level with the ground floor plan. It continues around the building but is then made into a wide terrace at the top of the hill, sealed off by just a vertical surface of glass. Here on the glazed west side of the house, nature is seen to reach into the house with pines bent by the strong winds.
The façade is made of fibre cement boards which were laser-cut in a pattern.
The architect describes the façade as ‘possibly the most challenging part of the project’. “We wanted to play with the Nordic lights and create vivid shadows at different hours. The boards are angled out from the front with spacers of aluminium to further enhance the light and shadow effect of the sun’s motion around the house.” The pattern on the boards was created through working on designs chosen with the clients, and then laser cut into the boards’ surface. The relief pattern adds depth as the sun cast nearly horizontal shadows.
Bornstein Lyckefors encouraged their clients to be playful and not to conform to a standard Swedish idea of residential design. In fact, the client’s desire to create a party-friendly home was ultimately central to how the space was organised. Acknowledging the clients’ request for a single area both for living and for parties, Bornstein Lyckefors open up the entire ground floor space and included outdoor spaces. “We tried to create seamless movement inside and outside.”
The kitchen is custom designed by the architects and manufactured by Aröds and Design Performance. It reaches in two directions with one side following the entire southern façade. Cupboards frame the windows alongside a working surface made from two layers of Corian, designed on the same principle as an airplane wing, and giving the impression of a nearly impossibly thin top board. On the other side is a free-standing kitchen unit aligned to face the view.Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Architect: Bornstein Lyckefors Arkitekter AB | Andreas Lyckefors, Johan Olsson
Photographer: James Silverman