Project name: Villa Vassdal | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden | Completed: 2019 | Architect: Studio Holmberg

Villa Vassdal is situated on a small island in the Gothenburg archipelago, historically known for thriving fishing and shipping industries. Nowadays, the island is populated by family houses and vacation homes thanks to its stunning vistas. Villa Vassdal is by the sea and completely surrounded by exposed cliffs and greenery.


This property is site-specific, meaning that it imitates the characteristics and scale of its plot. Vassdal features a low profile and broken-up, shifting volumes. All of the façades and roofs are clad in untreated heart-pine which creates a solid expression, highlighting the volumes as well as matching the raw cliffs that surround the site. Over time, the pine will weather, turning grey and blending more and more with the environment.


Studio Holmberg adds a sense of movement to Villa Vassdal by dividing and shifting the volumes of the home. This creates weather-protected and secluded areas while hinting at the interior layout. Each volume of the property marks a shift in function, using space as a divider as well as walls.

The interior spaces are oriented to shield residents from the view of neighbours and from the sun but open towards the sea. Villa Vassdal’s layout encourages an almost choreographed walkthrough. Shifting sight lines guide the journey and culminate with a view out to sea.

Photography by Markus Bülow and Mathias Holmberg.

Two Hulls House offers a similarly dramatic experience of its surroundings.