1-Story Skybox: Small & Simple Open-Plan Summer House


It is short and sweet – like summer vacation, unfortunately, often is. Despite (or perhaps because of) being small, contextual and made of elementary materials, this house stands out as a work of unique and well-crafted architecture by Primus Arkitekter of Denmark.

The humbly-sized summer residence is composed of a series of interlocking boxes with three essential elements: expanses of weathered wood cladding on the exterior, white-painted interior walls and expanses of vertical (window) and horizontal (skylight) glass mediating between the inside and outside environments.

The vertical wooden slats provide a nice rustic counterpoint to the pale modern interiors, and the complex intersections make for dynamic spaces with visual connections to the landscape at various angles. A bleached-wood floor system and lighter brown drainage pool off to one side add one final element of contrast to complete the picture.

The influences are debatable, but a strong case could be made that links this humble home to everything from German Bauhaus abstraction to American Prairie Style plans, the humanism of Alvar Aalto and (most naturally) wooden home-building traditions of Northern Europe in general.

Sliding doors reinforce strong interior/exterior relationships, as does the conceptual “fifth facade” of the day-lit light wells inside. The success of this house is arguably tied to its modesty: you might not notice it while passing by, because it sits so comfortably … a cozy set of simple boxes dotting the green Danish landscape.

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