Ollonborren, Sweden

Located next to Edsviken just north of Stockholm, this project sits at the end of a small secluded residential area close to a suburban centre. With other houses extending predominantly towards the west, the actual property borders on a beautiful sloping oak forest towards the east, making the property semi-private.

The area was originally built up with small white functionalistic “sugar cube” houses, albeit with sloping roofs. As the city grew and people’s tastes changed, the white sugar cubes started to develop in many different styles and directions, turning the area into an experimental field of how to and how not to make additions to the existing architectural fabric.

For the clients of this project, the main drawback of the existing was that the entrance story was not situated on the ground. Although they had a nice big garden, there was no real connection directly to the ground.

The main pi├Ęce de resistance was how to successfully unify an additional building volume to the existing functionalistic cube without letting the two clash. How to retain the language of the original while still letting the new speak for itself.

The project in detail studied the old building and identified that the original building envelope had a very stringent and beautiful geometry, but that it had a roof language that formed an enclosed shape which was impossible to extend without destroying the original intention. Therefore the former roof was conceptually removed from the rest of the project.

Playing with the geometry, the new addition makes use of the proportions of the original and elaborates on them. Also, importantly, by making use of the additional internal story height through the addition of an internal staircase to ground level, gives the new addition dimensions out of the ordinary.

Another important aspect was to find a materiality for the new extension that clearly speaks the language of an extension while still interacting with the old volume. Having the rare possibility to use brick in Sweden placed the addition into the realm of stone and render. By using mortar matching the render of the old, the volumes speak in subdued tones of the same mineral language. Further, by using a fairly extreme type of brick with an unusual bond, the addition talks to us in a modern sense without overtly imposing itself of what is left of the existing.