Villa Schreiner by Sverre Fehn

I am standing in front of a wooden facade that is one story high and has no openings. There is only one door and a roof that protects from any kind of weather, like today’s rain. Villa Schreiner seems to be completely closed from the outside. There are no signs of life. Is it abandoned? The area surrounding this wooden villa consists of ordinary suburban housing; most of them single-family houses with a garden in front. At a first glance, the neighboring buildings look more welcoming and open than Villa Schreiner.

However this first impression of a closed and introverted Villa changes quickly when you start walking around the building.
A patio around the first corner has not only a roof that helps you stay dry, it is also leading you past a row private rooms used as workspace and sleeping quarters. Those rooms have big  floor to ceiling openings with glass sliding doors, so you are able to step outside on the patio or go into the garden from every room.

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

The Villa’s garden reminds of a wild forest. A small terrace on the right hand side seems to be a perfect place to spend warm summer nights out under the open sky. There is also a wooden wall protecting this open place from any kind of distraction coming from the neighbors.

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

By the time you enter the building from the comfortable seating area facing the kitchen you have completely changed your mind about that first impressionYou walk around a light flooded space with an open fireplace and brick walls that makes you feel warm and at home right away.

 

Sverre Fehn, The Poetry of a Straight Line, © Museum of Finnisch Architecture

Sverre Fehn, The Poetry of a Straight Line, © Museum of Finnisch Architecture

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

The kitchen and the bathrooms, which are attached to each other, function as the core in the building around which everything revolves. Additional lightning in the back of the house was needed, such as the skylights in the kitchen and entrance area and the horizontal window atop the exterior wall.

A specific design detail that I liked very much is the possibility of connecting and separating spaces from each other. You are able to get rid of the corners of the building by pushing aside the big windows for example. I believe there is no other possibility to be more attached to nature than getting rid of the house’s border. Normally corners and walls can be seen as fixed and limiting outlines.

This house allows you to open up to the wilderness in the back. The closed front façade shields the house from the hectic city. It is the perfect house to come home after a stressful long day!

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen

Villa Schreiner © Per Berntsen