Murman Arkitekter

Juniper House . Katthammarsvik

Murman Arkitekter . photos: © Åke E-son Lindman . + ANP

This house is more than a weekend cottage. This house is an experiment. You approach it via a cul-de-sac that ends in a sheep fence towards the open moor. There is a grove of high junipers and a couple of white plastered houses visible. Embedded in a glade 5 meters to the right lies Juniper House. The house is barely visible, like a mirror of its own surroundings.

Juniper house is thought to be experienced as the glade it stands in. The project started with measuring all junipers on the site. The house is placed so you have junipers just a foot from the façade. The original glade was crossed by a natural path through the house to the moor.
A wall of glass from ceiling to floor stands towards the minimal yard. From the interior you have a strong feeling of being in the nature. Both light and the path “flow” through the house and a terrace of white local limestone separates the kitchen from the master bedroom.
Thanks to the glass partitions and the white interior walls the small court yard is experienced as a part of the inside. From the master bedroom there is a lot of sky visible, due to the significantly sized glass partitions, and through the low placed window you can se wild rabbits in the morning. There is only a curtain separating the bedroom from the rest of the house.
The centrally placed kitchen works as a living room. The wide sliding doors towards the terrace and the enclosed yard make it possible to have good contact with the nature during all types of weather. The sliding glass partitions also works as a temperature regulator while minimising draught problems.
All the members of the big family have summer cottages in the neighbourhood and close contact with the family was crucial, but there was also a need of a private zone. Towards the lawn and the other family members lies the afternoon sun terrace. The platform acts as a bridge towards the rest of the family and is also a half-private zone. Towards east facing the morning sun for breakfast you have the private breakfast zone.

The façade is a playful comment to the Gotland authority’s ambition to not let modern architecture be visual in the landscape. It is also an experiment and investigation in what you see and do not see of a house and how this affects you and how you experience colour, texture, surface, material, transparency, inside contra outside light on and through the façades.
The slow growing junipers that enclose the house are green throughout the whole year. A photo of the existing junipers was used as the base for the tailor-made cloth that is 35 metres wide and 3 meters high and wrapped onto tree sides of the house The netvinyl cloth is put on a galvanized steel construction at a distance of 40 centimetres from the façade. On the north and south side of the house the cloth is extended a few extra meters for privacy and to hide the outdoor shower from the neighbours. The wooden facade is treated with a combination of turpentine, tar and linseed oil.
The sliding glass parts are clad with aluminium from Velfac and full aluminium from Scücho. The large glass partitions is insulated in the same plane as the façade elements fixed to the angled profiles made of aluminium.
The floor is ash, oiled with white pigment. The walls and the ceiling are painted white and for the kitchen we have used a concrete board from a local factory in Boge, Gotland. The other parts of the kitchen are from IKEA. The wood burning stove is a model from the early 20th century, and is only 30 centimetres wide and is the only heat source in the kitchen. The sofa is our own design and the central table is made of massive ash assembled on a drawing board stand. The chairs are the classic Y-chair designed by Hans Wegner in 1950.
The walls are isolated with 120 mm mineral wool. The ground is a concrete plate. The roof is flat clad with tar paper.

PROJECT NAME Juniper House
LOCATION Katthammarsvik, Gotland, Sweden
PROGRAM Single family house
AREA Built-up area: 50m2
YEAR Completion: 2007
CLIENT Ulla Alberts
PROJECT BY Murman Arkitekter
TEAM Principal Designers: Hans Murman, Ulla Alberts

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