Studio Furellen in Sweden was built by AQ Arkitekter and the inspiration for this open or shut home comes from both the east and the west, starting with a trip to Sea Ranch in California and one year later finishing with a trip to Tokyo, Japan. The combination of inspirational moments created this dynamic home that is able to either expose itself and its decks to the outdoors or close up tight like a clam. The minimalist silhouette offers an industrial facade that is further emphasized by the various hydraulic and mechanical terraces that create a flexible solution of environmental consideration on all four sides of the building. Hidden from view, an interior atrium keeps the inner volumes light, bright and connected to the outdoors, even when it’s closed up tight.
When the terraces are in the down position, easy access to outdoor living is available on all four sides. Each deck is large enough for a comfortable sitting area and each deck is equipped with a small flight of stairs that reaches down to the ground. Levelers allow the deck to be adjusted to the terrain, keeping the decks “level”.
When the terraces are up. The facade is a solid 500m2 studio cube of Corten steel, 4500x1500mm while the roof is steel with a surface layer of sedum succulents. The steel sheathing creates the perfect canvas for nature to paint her shadows.
The sedums on the green roof offer a low volume planting allowing for as much sunlight as possible to enter the atrium below. Sedums are also extremely low maintenance needing very little water to survive.
Access to the roof is also via these stunning steel and tempered glass stairwells as is access to 3 levels of the inner atrium. The atrium and skylights flood the studio with natural light even when the terraces are closed up tight.
At the bottom of one flight of stairs is a lounge area complete with a floating two sided fireplace. 3 contemporary wire cubes offer either simple seating or table surfaces on one side while on the other, contemporary leather sofas create a more social environment.
On the other side a second flight of stairs meets up with another two sided floating fireplace. Here, a long bench runs the length of a niche with wood stored below. On the far side a conference table is set up next to sliding glass doors that open up to one of the “opened” decks.
The clever concept of creating a niche to store firewood and offer additional seating is an organic touch in an otherwise industrial setting.
Past the wood storage the room continues down to an outdoor view created by the another lowered deck.
A third deck is off of the communal kitchen. Designed with an industrial chic aesthetic, the island is a casual creation of table surface combined with cooktop, butcher block and sink.
The fourth and final deck is located off of a private sleeping area. The headboard of this bedroom is outfitted with a fluorescent strip for uplighting and the whole room is bathed in white created with six layers of plaster. This same treatment was applied to all the internal surfaces.
Aside from the conference table located next to one of the fireplaces, a second conference table or work station is in a more private setting. With shelves on both sides of the table, this space has a more buckle down and get things done atmosphere needed when work requires refining complex details. The conference zone next to the fire has a more relaxed and creative setting – perfect for those inspirational moments best achieved when tossing ideas back and forth in a casual environment.
When the eureka moment hits and its time to relax and enjoy life, the sauna offers the perfect place to do just that – or maybe the eureka moment is being evasive and a pause is in order, what better place to pause then in a sauna as well.
Two tubs just outside the sauna are the perfect place to start and finish this healthy spa activity.
Both tubs are situated just inside the atrium on one end.
Viewing the Studio Furellen from the closed facade it is hard to imagine the light, bright, chic interior volume. The studio is a combination of discreet simplicity and exposed complexity. It offers both a feeling of seclusion for those times when concentration is of the essence while also taking into account what is needed for creativity and inspiration. AQ Arkitekter included both large open areas as well as smaller more enclosed space, guaranteeing a multifunctional space for all to enjoy. It is a stunning example of what out of the box thinking can achieve. In this case it achieved an in the box studio of modernist proportions – and it only took two years fro initial sketch to complete!