written by:
photos by:
June 6, 2015
Originally published in Bring the Outside In
as
Surf and Turf
An adventurous family envisions a dream getaway on Sweden’s southwestern shore.
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with Ilva table and Carl Hansen & Søn chairs in dining area

Oskar and Karl, 12 and 9, share breakfast at their family’s summer getaway in Sweden. The table is from ILVA, and the CH36 chairs by Hans Wegner are from Carl Hansen & Søn. 

Photo by 
1 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with outdoor seating area

Henrik and Karin Lepasoon relax in their outdoor seating area that faces the ocean. They purchased the property in 2005 and began building five years later. “We used to take road trips in Europe every summer,” says Henrik, “but when Oskar was born we thought it would be nice to be in one place.” 

Photo by 
2 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with deck

The family are avid fans of watersports of all stripes: “Windsurfing and the stand-up paddling board—the beach is right outside,” says Henrik. “It’s a fun house.”

Photo by 
3 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with corian Multiform top and Wolf hood and oven in the kitchen

In the kitchen, the couple prepare a meal. The Multiform island is topped in Corian; the oven and hood is from Wolf.

Photo by 
4 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with clean roof proportions

“The roof is my favorite part of the house,” says Henrik. “It’s a real challenge to get this lightness of roof with the whole construction in line with the Case Study Houses in Sweden. We have the weather here. Many houses don’t get the proportions right and it looks like a hat on a house.” 

 

Photo by 
5 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with Sits sofa and Borge Mogensen chair in the living room

The living room features a sofa by Sits and a 1950 Hunting Chair by Børge Mogensen.

Photo by 
6 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with hallway and surfboards

 “The floor is one of my favorite parts of the house, as it was a real challenge for the construction—we only had one chance.” —Henrik Lepasoon, resident 

 

Photo by 
7 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway open deck

“There is a lot of glass so you can enjoy the view and the outdoor lifestyle even inside,” Henrik explains. “You live in the middle of the weather somehow. It’s a really harsh environment, as you have these southwesterly winds blowing through the house. But it is really beautiful as well.”

Photo by 
8 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with glass windows on the facade

“We really love it here and we will never sell it, so this is a real once-in-a-lifetime place,” says Henrik. “We always dreamed of building a house in this style.” 

Photo by 
9 / 10
10 / 10
Modern Swedish family dream getaway with Ilva table and Carl Hansen & Søn chairs in dining area

Oskar and Karl, 12 and 9, share breakfast at their family’s summer getaway in Sweden. The table is from ILVA, and the CH36 chairs by Hans Wegner are from Carl Hansen & Søn. 

Project 
Surf Shack

When Henrik Lepasoon first conjured up an image of his dream vacation home, the sketch in his cerebral cortex looked much like a cross between a selection of Case Study Houses and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. But, in the end, it was the Lepasoon family’s love of surfing that really gave identity to this house on the southwest coast of Sweden. Part surf shack, part modernist abode, the 2,500-square-foot beachfront house is no fussy show home. Rather, the rooms reverberate with the sounds of children enjoying summer break, and no one worries about wet footprints on the concrete floor or sand brought in from the beach. 

“It’s just ten minutes to an excellent wave spot, but the beach is also right outside,” says Lepasoon. “It’s a fun house. We do a lot of cycling…anything with adrenaline. I have a race car, and there are three racetracks close by.”

Having the family’s windsurfing and stand-up paddleboards peek out from behind the facade, viewable from the interior, certainly plays up that sense of fun. Board storage is integrated into the design, so residents just grab and go, rather than having to drag equipment out from a garage.

“The boards are always visually present, and we have light on them in the evening,” says architect Håkan Widjedal, of Arkitektstudio Widjedal Racki. “If you look in one direction in two of the bedrooms, you see the sails hanging there, which also have lights on them in the evening. And when you walk the other way, from the bedrooms toward the hall, you see the boards.”

The beach house is a five-hour drive from the family home in central Stockholm, which requires more of a commitment than just a weekend escape pod. So Lepasoon spends as much time as possible there, including seven weeks every summer. Due to the vagaries of Swedish weather, summer—not to mention fall and winter—can be unpredictable and harsh. But for Lepasoon and his sons, Oskar, 12, and Karl, 9, the location and design of the house mean that the weather is more entertainer than enemy. 

“There is a lot of glass, so you can enjoy the view from inside,” says Lepasoon. “It can be so spectacular in winter. If it’s bad weather in Sweden, it’s windy, and that’s good for windsurfing. If it’s not so bad, you can go golfing. You live in the middle of the weather somehow. It’s a really harsh environment, as you have these southwesterly winds blowing through the house. But it’s really beautiful as well.”

Those southwesterly winds were certainly at the forefront of Widjedal’s mind, in 2010, when he set about working on the design for this home, to be built on a site that Lepasoon had bought back in 2005. There was an aging summerhouse on the plot, but with its tacked-on walls and roof, it was at the mercy of the elements. 

“A lot of the discussion was about how to create something where you can both sit in the sun and be protected from the wind,” says Widjedal. “It’s tough to solve because the bad weather systems usually come from the southwest. But the southwest is where you want to open up. It’s where you have the sun and good evening views. You want to sit and barbecue, but the wind comes from there.”

The solution came in the shaping of the building and also in the way that glass was used. The home’s veranda can be screened off as the weather dictates, and a glass roof fills the space between it and the main building. This works without imposing on the design, inside or out. The interior brims with calm Scandinavian style, while the white exterior retains that touch of Hawaiian or Caribbean surf hut, with unobtrusive panels protecting the home from the worst gusts. This unlikely fusion of styles gels rather than jars, although the local construction workers did take some persuading about the design at first. 

“The architect constructed the house with a steel frame, which you don’t do in Sweden,” says Lepasoon. “He had to redraw it as a wooden house with steel reinforcement so they understood.” 

Despite this need for some backward engineering, Lepasoon enthuses greatly about the Swedish standards of construction, with extra superlatives reserved for the sheer love and care that workers showed when pouring the home’s concrete floor. Radiant heating is hidden beneath, making every postsurf moment a warm reminder of this Swedish dedication to Lepasoon’s much-loved American-inspired design, as filtered through northern Europe. Of the house’s complicated building process, Lepasoon says, “You really have to do it perfectly the first time.”

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016