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Island Home with 2 Outdoor Firepits and Infinity Pool


Located in Varmdo, Sweden, Villa Overby is only 250sqm in size but John Robert Nilsson Arkitektkontor managed to design it to feel large and spacious. Perched on a natural plateau within the rocky headland, the home sits on a Gotland limestone concrete foundation designed to act as a large plinth with walkways under the roofs overhang on three sides and a large terrace with sunken pool and fire pit facing out towards the bay. The same limestone covered foundation continues into the home as the flooring finish creating a visual continuum from the outdoor to indoor zones.


The entry facade to Villa Overby presents a private wall that has been plastered and then finished in a matte black shade allowing the home to meld into the shadows with only the glint of the glass within the entry door creating a focal point. The entry door is a pivoting ceiling high structure made with a thin lattice of black stained oak.


Only the entry facade is private with the other three sides clad in large expanses of structural glazings to make the most of the commanding views. The insulative glass is made with an outer layer of Optiwhite glass for a reduction of solar discolouration and an inner layer of thermal control glass. The bottom of the glass frame is completely recessed and hidden between the limestone slabs creating an invisible boundary between the indoor and outdoor zones. To ensure rain and snow melt are kept at bay there is a hidden moat made with a stainless steel channel and a limestone cover.


While the home sits high atop a rock bluff, there is access to a private dock via a wide wooden ramp that alternates between platforms and steps..


Down on the dock is a raised firepit complete with bench for enjoying a water level ambiance of the bay. Here, neighbours can stop by in their boats and enjoy an evening of conversation and maybe a quick ocean swim while staying warm by the fire.


There is also a larger fire pit up on the deck next to the pool. Here, the same scenario can take place with friends stopping by in their cars and possibly going for a swim in the pool. This larger, cozier fire pit is sunken, upholstered and sheltered from any ocean breezes.


The infinity edge to the pool blends with the uninterrupted ocean vistas. The pool is heated by a geothermal heat pump.


The geothermal heat pump also heats the home’s floors and hot water system. Other sustainable and technological systems are a desalination unit that extracts tap water from the sea, a district cooling that pumps “free” air conditioning into the home, a smart control and monitoring solution that uses a web based interface and is controlled by either the internet or a mobile handset.


The home looks out towards the sunsets and is designed with an open social floor plan that takes advantage of the western views. Even the three bedrooms located on opposite sides of the residence have walls of glazings with stunning bay vistas.


The choice of creating a residence in a colourless geometric shape out of concrete and glass was a premeditated choice to create an bold contradiction to the surrounding landscape. The trees stand tall and proud and their verticality is in direct contrast to the low profile of the home as is the brilliant shades of green and blue in the surrounding vistas.


The entry to the home is centred on a basic rectangle with Master Suite on one side and a guest suite backing the coat closet, powder room and laundry facility on the other. Straight ahead is the social zone and hidden behind the kitchen is a second guest suite.


John Robert Nilsson Arkitektkontor
Photography by Ake E:son Lindman and John Robert Nilsson


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