Located on the largest archipelago in Sweden, the Villa Mörtnäs mirrors its stoic, icy surroundings. The Strömma Projekt, a Swedish property developer, commissioned fourfoursixsix to design a home for a rising site facing the Baltic Sea and backed by a wall of rock. The brief called for a bold residential plan that departs from the Stockholm archipelago's timber vernacular, and construction had to be completed within six months before winter gripped the region.
In order to hasten construction time, fourfoursixsix opted to use aerated concrete for this design. Lightweight and affordable, this material boasts superior fire protection and acoustic and thermal insulation. The latter is particularly useful for reducing heating requirements further north than Moscow. The design team then covered the granular surface with a pastel grey render that gives the home its distinctive sense of calm amid the clunkier wooden homes in the neighborhood.
Living spaces have been relegated to the top floors, which optimizes exposure to sunlight, while the ‘exaggerated’ floor to ceiling height in contrast with the bedrooms on the lower levels combined with large south-facing sliding glass doors further maximizes natural lighting. Carefully selected cutouts in the 3,000 square foot block home provide view of the sea to the north and a terrace on the south side butts up against a dramatic rock face. While some readers might find this design a bit too stoic, we think it nails the ‘cool’ factor.