About
762AR

Ralph Erskines

Villa Erskine

1956–1963

On an island on Lake Mälaren, in the village of Drottningholm (near the summer palace of the same name), about 15 km from the center of Stockholm, has been built these housing and studio, residence of the architect himself. In them the architect has applied many of his ideas about construction in an extremely variable “subarctic” climate, with both buildings also having an interesting practical experience of the problem of the construction of modern buildings in a traditional environment.

As the houses and other constructions in the surrounding area were mostly grouped together creating interior patios protected from the rigours of the weather, the architect respected this criterion and designed the house, studio and garage, enclosing a sunny and protected interior space; protection that is reinforced by the wall erected in the northern part of the complex.

The buildings were built with prefabricated elements made of lightweight concrete (Siporex), walls, slabs, roof vaults, etc. The material has been placed without any kind of special exterior finish; its surface presents a kind of grooves, with which its aesthetic qualities have been improved, and its colour is in harmony with that of the surrounding buildings.

All the buildings in the complex have a double roof: the exterior is made of galvanised and corrugated steel sheets, and another is made of Siporex; the convenient separation between the two practically eliminates heat loss, melting snow and preventing the formation of ice in the eaves and gutters during the winter, thus avoiding many probabilities of cracks and leaks forming on the roof. The whole presents a cosy and intimate appearance, with its simple lines and small windows – the exterior staircases are completely insulated so that no thermal pairs are established.

As for the interior layout of the dwelling, it was designed with a view to freely allow each family member, according to his or her state of mind, to enjoy isolation and intimacy, or to participate in an active social life. On the ground floor, spaces were organized for the family to develop its activities of common life: living area, eating area, kitchen, office, etc.; there is also a space for a drawing table, a place to sit and a corner for T.V., etc.

On the upper half floor there is an area dedicated to children, which has its own entrance, and in which they can develop their lives, without being subjected to any kind of surveillance. The building containing the studio and the office has been constructed in a similar way to that of the dwelling, and designed in such a way that with a minimum alteration it can be used for multiple uses: office, rented dwelling, etc.

It has a private entrance area and its garden clearly differentiated from those of the dwelling, and the only window overlooking the inner courtyard can be blinded when needed; on the lower level of this building are: the conditioning installation room, an archive, a special room for models, etc. With regard to the urban environment: a type of garden has been built with rocks, making the rounded shapes of the grass areas attractive, both when they are green and when they are covered by snow.

Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
Villa Erskine
59°19'30.3"N 17°53'24.2"E

Location: Drottningholm, Sweden
Type: House, Atelier

Text: Informes de la Construcción Vol. 21, n° 202, Julio de 1968
Photography: Richard Einzig - Åke E:son Lindman


Posted: November 2019
Category: Architecture

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