Fabel from Sweden joins the 2021 architects directory
Architects directory 2021: Fabel, Sweden
Led by Sofie Campanello and Catharina Dahl Palmér, the Fabel architecture studio represents Sweden in the Wallpaper * 2021 architects repertoire. Here we present the architects and their summer cabin showcase in Höghult
Scandinavians are skilled hands in designing the perfect summer cabin, and this example in Höghult, designed by dynamic architecture studio Fabel, is a prime example of the genre. This is also one of the reasons why we selected the Swedish firm and its directors, Sofie Campanello and Catharina Dahl Palmér, to be part of our Wallpaper * 2021 Architects Directory.
The architectural duo Sofie Campanello and Catharina Dahl Palmér, based in Gothenburg, created Fabel in 2012. The two founders were united by their common conviction that “looking back is moving forward”. They explain: “Our goal is to be down to earth and we have wood and wood as our particular interest. We work with materials and details with care and strive to ensure that each building finds its context in its surroundings, history and setting. ‘
This sensitive and contextual approach has produced striking results, which stand out for their refined aesthetics and their return to basics philosophy. Celebrating wood in all its forms is also a big part of the Swedish studio’s agenda. This is beautifully presented in a residential summer cabin the pair designed in the Swedish countryside of Höghult (see below). Other works include the single-family houses Villa Ödsmål and Vallda. The emerging studio’s approach is defined by a combination of classic materials, such as wood, and proven construction techniques that are expressed in contemporary ways.
“For us, great architecture equals simplicity, clarity and ease,” they say. “If an addition feels like it’s always been there, we’re more than happy. If, at the same time, he’s got the nerve that comes when contemporary meets history, and you can feel it in your stomach, you’ve come all the way. Our goal is to achieve this by working with historic buildings in conservation and transformation projects, but also by learning historic techniques when building new projects. We are convinced that new techniques (like cross-laminated timber) can bring a lot, but that we have to learn from what we already know by working with them. ‘
Sitting atop a hill on the southern mainland of Sweden, the Höghult Hut overlooks the sparkling waters of a lake, perfectly positioned to take in the scenery. Designed as a guesthouse, the project was created with its striking views in mind, explains the Fabel team: “The house is built as an old farm guesthouse on site, but the couple who live there use it mainly for leisure. Besides a bedroom, there is a sauna and an open hall next to two patios. ‘
The simple brief is reflected in a suitably simple layout. The plan is made up of two main structures, arranged next to each other in a linear fashion and connected by a decked and sheltered outdoor patio.
Following Fabel’s signature approach, the cabin is built using traditional techniques and woodwork. The two “wings” are timber constructions – the more opaque uses a log house technique and the more transparent volume is made with timber frame construction. No nails or metal reinforcement are used anywhere – this is architectural purity at its best. The ‘log house’ has its back to other buildings nearby, ensuring the privacy of its guests and the second room, more open.
“We wanted to make an addition that is both sober and beautiful, and that interacts with the surrounding nature,” explain the architects. “Simplicity and clarity were the key words throughout the process. “
Why: Wallpaper * Directory of architects 2021
Designed in 2000 as our index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper * Architects’ Directory is our magazine’s annual listing of promising practices from around the world. Over the years, the project has crossed styles and continents, while still championing the best and most exciting young studios and showcasing inspiring work with a focus on the residential realm. Now counting more than 500 alumni and more, the Directory of Architects is back for its 21st edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios, from Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico , from the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom, with a lot of promise, ideas and architecture exciting.