The H House is a wooden vacation house overlooking lake Sommen in the village of Malexander in southern Sweden. Its floor plan layout forms a symmetrical capital H with the wing facing north containing private spaces, while its twin volume facing south gather interlocking social spaces turning towards the vast view of the lake. A curved glass wall forms an outdoor veranda within the building perimeter, gently separating social spaces of different use.
Connecting the two parts on the axis of the main entrance is the kitchen, facing two open courtyards capturing the morning and evening sun of the east and the west. Windows and glazed doors on all sides of each courtyard allow movement and visual contact in multiple directions throughout the house, keeping the lakeview present at all times.
The sharp gable roof volumes of the house respond to vernacular building typologies of the surrounding rural area. The exterior wooden siding is an interplay between a smooth paneling and a bolder board and batten surface with deep asymmetrical batten profiles resulting in pronounced depth and texture. A color scheme in shades of gray relates to the characteristic granite bedrock and boulders of the adjacent lake.
The H House is located in a rural village consisting mostly of vernacular summer houses dating from present time back to early 19th century. Often owned and revisited for generations, they are places of family gatherings and childhood memories.
The project does not seek confrontation with the romantic conventions of its built surroundings in terms of scale, form or material language. It rather recognizes a general appreciation of the familiar as a condition that does not restrict architectural integrity or achievement. Constructed entirely of timber it attempts to combine historic experience of durable construction with the social and environmental demands of the present, as a way of achieving sustainability, relevance and refinement within cultural continuity.