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In the heart of the wilderness

Finding a house by a lake and near a city is a challenge, even in Sweden, which is famous for its many lakes. But a young pair of architects struck lucky.

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At home in nature

Not far from Gothenburg, Saga Karlsson and Edouard Boisse came upon a 9000 m2 plot in the middle of a nature reserve. The couple had a very clear idea of what family life should look like in the heart of the wilderness: Their new house should be subsumed in the surroundings – and it does exactly that. “It is a fantastic, unique and peaceful place,” recounts builder and architect Edouard Boisse. And sometimes a little spooky, he admits. Especially when wild winds whip through the branches of the surrounding trees, thick fog rises over the lake, or forest animals come as close as two metres from the house at the dead of night.


“We have fulfilled the dream of living in the forest, and we can enjoy the view of the forest and lake even when we are inside the house. That’s why we don’t have any pictures or paintings anywhere in the house. The windows frame nature for us – it’s like our personal art gallery,” says builder and architect Saga Karlsson.

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Open-plan living with abundant natural light

Despite measuring only 162 m2, this four-person family home looks so much bigger than that. This is primarily because the rooms flow into one another without any precious space being wasted on hallways. The atrium – which is integrated in the cube-shaped house – is a stroke of design genius. It opens the house to the sky and floods the living and sleeping spaces with light at all times of the day. It also serves an aesthetic purpose: Depending on the position of the sun, an animated interplay between light and shadow takes place. On top of that, the entire landscape is reflected in the large-scale windows and sliding doors, making the forest and lake appear close enough to touch.

Excellent thermal insulation with maximum transparency

“It was a challenge to transport the windows and doors here, primarily due to the size of the windows and the isolated location of the house. We discussed a lot beforehand, and thanks to thorough and detailed planning everything went smoothly in the end,” says Thomas Harbom from Alufront.

A crane was used to transport the large Schüco glass units to the house, where they were installed by fabrication company Alufront. One of these units was the AWS 70 BS.HI cradle-to-cradle certified window. The aluminium block window system meets the highest energy requirements while also providing maximum possible transparency. The dark outer frames of the windows visually blend with the wood-clad exterior wall of the house, making the transition between the two indistinguishable from a distance. “The cooperation between all those involved was great and Villa J became a project very close to my heart,” summarises Thomas Harbom from Alufront.

You can draw more inspiration from Villa J in Sweden on Instagram.


Project: Villa J

Location: near Gothenburg, Sweden

Builders and architects: Saga Karlsson and Edouard Boisse

Fabricator: Alufront

Products: Sliding doors, windows, doors

Schüco systems: ADS 70.SI / HI, ASS 70.HI (RS 160.HI), FWS 50, AWS 70 BS.HI

Photos: James Silverman Photography

Find out more about Schüco sliding doors in the special feature on our website:

In the heart of the wilderness