Tofta Sand (On Sand)

Tofta Sand (On Sand)

Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB
Kungälv, Sweden
Project Year
Private Houses
Åke E:son Lindman

Tofta Sand (On Sand)

Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB as Architects

An endless view is a hymn for the eye. The sound of the horizon moves your mind. A solitude site, with the sea in front and lush valleys in the back, is always the right place for a house. If the site is empty, you should build there if you can. If the site is built, you should by the house. If it does not fit your need, rebuild it.

This is what we did at Sand. The site came first and will always do. There happened to be an old cottage standing on the meadow between the cliffs. We bought the meadow and the house in 1992. The house dated from the 17th century and was as natural on the site as the oaks next by. It is not with an easy mind you begin to transform four hundred years of history, but we found a way to add new values and yet preserving the old. Two wings were added, one for the office and one for the children. The roofs of the low protruding flanks were covered with grass. It tied the additions to the poor and simple history of the old cottage but did also relate to the ecological discourse of the 1990s. The plan, with a slightly irregular piazza á la Campidoglio in front of the old building did on the other hand link the ensemble to the grand history. A contemporary detailing finished this refurbishment and the house served the family well in work as well as leisure for many years.

Some disadvantages became however obvious as years went by. The porch on the seaside was nice to use but ugly to look at. The master bedroom under the roof-beams was intimate but undersized. When a mice ran over Karin’s bed one morning, the disadvantages of a poorly built addition from the 80’s became too obvious. A second remodeling of the old cottage took place; this time with focus on the old structure. By lifting the roof about a meter, the former petit attic was transformed into a spacious loft. The exterior facing the inland could still pass as an old farmhouse; now rather a kiln than a cottage. The other side, however, was altered in to a geometric composition where two oversized window panes erases the rustic image. Traces of tradition are still present, in the old brick roof for example, but the 21st century has now taken the role to lead rather than follow.

The majestic windows, one for the loft and one for the dining room downstairs, are juxtaposed by a tall loggia protruding from the old living-room. This space can be opened and closed with curtains, thus enable to use for dinners or cocktails rather independent of the unreliable Swedish summer weather.

There are some other features in the interior worthy to point out: The loft do not only have a tall window pane toward the sea. The gables are translucent too. A exterior and interior paneling with gaps are glued to double glass panes, enabling sunrays to dance on the floor. The effect of the tall glass in the dining room is quite different from the one upstairs. The hided mounting in walls and ceiling, makes the diamond glass disappear. To sit in the Granny Smith green room is to be part of the landscape. Comfortable as in a theater loge and with the nature set on stage right in front.

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