Bornstein Lyckefors designs a little cube on the prairie

Spackhuggaren by Bornstein Lyckefors. Photo Mikael Olsson

KÄRNA – Isolated and idyllic, Späckhuggaren is a one-and-a-half storey residence signed Bornstein Lyckefors. The wooden cube displays a defined and geometric architecture, honest about its wooden structure and its heritage.

When asked how to characterise the residence, Andreas Lyckefors – founding partner at Bornstein Lyckefors – gave us three key words: ‘presence, landscape, and heritage – the house rests on historical ground that greatly affected its design’. The Swedish firm always strives for a clear architectural language with graphic spatial experiences that stem from the site and program.

‘The landscape surrounding the house in Kärna is classic Swedish farmland with a close proximity to the ocean. The architecture consists of barns and boathouses. The dwelling is all of that. A simple geometry with large openings to the landscape, local exterior details and a traditional colour.’  

Built upon the ashes of a former farm stall and warehouse that burned down generations ago, the house for a single father and his children looks like it jumped straight out of an impressionist’s painting of rural Sweden but with a modern-day twist.

Drawing from the traditional tone of Falu-red, the architects pushed the rich colour to the fullest and coated the entirety of the exterior of the house, from the structure to the window and door frames. It adds a hint of melancholy to an otherwise contemporary family home in rural Scandinavia.

The 163 sq-m house has a modest feel to it with a slab-on-grade wood frame construction. The interior focuses on the layout by using plywood and grey wooden fibreboards sparingly. The architects invested time into built-in furniture – a wall-to-wall plywood bookshelf follows the general form of the house with cubic partitions.

Gravitating around the large opening facing the fields to the side of the entrance, the ground floor has a reading niche and kitchen before going into the living area where the high ceiling marks it as the heart of the house. On the first floor are two bedrooms for the children and a secondary living area. The final bedroom really lives up to its name of ‘master bedroom’ as it hovers above the living area on the ground floor and how it requires the user to pass in front of the other bedrooms before even reaching it.

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