This Book-Filled Swedish Cabin Is a Bibliophile’s Dream

This Book-Filled Swedish Cabin Is a Bibliophile’s Dream

Architect Fria Folket positioned a Billy bookcase from Ikea along almost every wall to house the owners’ expansive library.

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Project Details:

Location: Bollnäs, Sweden

Architect: Fria Folket / @friafolket

Footprint: 2,045 square feet

From the Architect: "MA03 Library House was designed to meet the requirements of a ceramicist and a lawyer in need of a home capable of holding their extensive book collection as well as providing them with spaces for work and creative activity.

"Having different needs and rhythms, and at the same time enjoying each other's company and presence, the couple wanted a house where they could find peace to work individually without entirely screening each other off. Architectural studio Fria Folket composed a house organized around a library in the shape of a book gallery framing a small courtyard.

"The house is situated on the edge of a sparse pine forest by the lake Voxsjön, right next to the family’s original home and garden, Villa Skoghem, a forester’s residence from the early-20th century. While the north, east, and west facades are quite closed from the surroundings with just a few carefully selected outlooks, the south side opens toward the lake.

"Four gable-roof buildings complement the centrally located library, each one solving its own specific part of the program in accordance with the adjoining section: The east building is for cooking and gardening; the south building is for arts and crafts; the west building houses law, science, and music; and the north building, accommodating the areas for rest and recovery, contains meditation and self development. Linking the volumes together—thematically as well as systematically—the library functions as the core and the bloodstream of the project. 

"The four houses are organized in the order of the sun’s movement with the starting point of the house, i.e. the entrance, in line with the starting point of the day in the east. Moving through the house the sun finally rests, just like the house, in the north. The degree of privacy follows the same loop. From the most social spaces, hallway, and kitchen, to the most private spaces at the end of the circle. The clockwise movement is encouraged by the placement of the windows providing views towards the surroundings when walking clockwise in opposed to facing the closed bookcase walls when moving counterclockwise.

"Four doors, one in each corner of the book gallery, offers access to the courtyard from all parts of the house, making it easy to move between the inside and outside.

"In pursuit of sustainability, the house has been customized to the family's existing furniture in order to reduce the need to buy new and replace. In consequence the iconic Ikea Billy bookcase has played an essential part in determining the measures of the house being the holder of the existing library.

"With further intention of reducing the environmental footprint the walls and roofs have been constructed free from plastic and insulated with flax fibers according to vernacular traditions of the area. The facade is cladded with untreated heart pine from a local sawmill and the concrete-free foamglas foundation is made from recycled glass. 

"The rainwater from the aluzink-cladded roof is collected in an underground tank providing the green house with water. 

"In line with old Nordic building traditions one of the studios has been constructed so that it can be disconnected from the rest of the house in regards to heating. This provides the option to downsize the house when temperature drops. 

"A certain sense of rhythm pervades the house as the grid of the construction articulates in the load bearing glass partitions, manufactured at a local window carpentry. Like barlines on a piece of sheet music the posts divide the bookshelves like beats in a measure."


Photo courtesy of Fria Folket


Photo courtesy of Fria Folket


Photo courtesy of Fria Folket

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