Terraces for following the sun surround villa in Sweden by Johan Sundberg

Exterior of Villa MSV

Zinc and larch canopies shade a series of terraces at this home in southern Sweden, designed by local practice Johan Sundberg Arkitektur.

Located in a pine forest in the Ljungskogen area close to the coast, Villa MSV was designed by Lund-based studio Johan Sundberg Arkitektur for a couple who wanted ample space both inside and outside for hosting large gatherings with friends and family.

Grey brick house in Sweden
Johan Sundberg Arkitektur has built a villa in a pine forest

Rather than have the home prioritise one particular view or direction, the studio used a T-shaped plan to create three terraces around the living spaces that respond to particular uses at different times of day.

“We’ve been working with many different classical atrium-style L-shaped houses for years at our studio, but recently we’ve started questioning this form,” Johan Sundberg told Dezeen.

Wooden terraces of Villa MSV
The dwelling is surrounded by terraces

“Often the outsides of the L-shape become lower quality spaces, sometimes even ‘backsides’ to the houses.”

“In this house, and in Sommerhus T, we’ve started looking at the spaces around a T-shape – this way we can create more distinct spaces to the east of the house,” continued Sundberg.

Wooden exterior of Villa MSV
Rain chains help to channel water to planting beds

Facing the rising sun to the east is a small paved patio between the entrance and bedroom block at the front of the home and the central living spaces. A winding path leads from here to the main bedroom at the rear.

To the west, a wooden decked area creates an extension of the living areas through full-height sliding doors. An outdoor dining table and seating spaces for evening gathering overlook a garden that leads directly into the nearby forest.

Home sauna
A sauna is among the spaces found inside

To the south, a paved patio with sun loungers and an outdoor shower sits alongside the sauna, bathroom and relaxation spaces next to the main bedroom at the rear of the home.

Contrasting finishes have been used for the exterior. Pale Danish bricks for the outward-facing areas were chosen to blend with the hues of the forest, while larch planking designed to weather over time clads the walls that surround the terraces.

“We often use these brick curtains, likening the houses to an animal with its tougher skin or even shell towards the street, and the soft belly to the inside,” said Sundberg.

Sheltering the western and southern terraces are zinc-edged canopies, the size and form of which responds to the direction of the sun. Some have timber slats to filter light through and others block it out completely.

Minimalist interiors of Villa MSV
The central living spaces flow into one another

Rain chains to assist with drainage are installed at the edge of these canopies, helping direct water into a series of landscaped beds next to the terraces.

Internally, the central living spaces flow into one another, demarcated by contrasting floor finishes – stone in the kitchen and wood in the living areas – and a brick fireplace that separates the dining room from a lounge.

Bathroom with freestanding bathtub
Painted wooden planks line some of the bathroom walls 

White walls and sliding pocket doors create a minimal backdrop throughout to focus views of the surrounding forest, with the sauna lined in wood and the bathrooms finished with white-painted wooden planks.

Johan Sundberg Arkitektur has completed several homes in the south of Sweden, including the nearby Villa Tennisvägen with a lush courtyard and swimming pool and Sommarhus H with a sauna overlooking a beach.

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