Library House / Fria Folket + Hanna Michelson

Architects: Fria Folket
Area: 190 m²
Year: 2022
Lead Architect: Hanna Michelson
City: Stockholm
Country: Sweden

The Library House, conceptualized by architectural studio Fria Folket, exemplifies a delicate balance of functionality and aesthetic unity tailored for a ceramicist and a lawyer. This project revolves around a central library, which not only serves as the heart of the home but also as a versatile space merging personal and shared realms seamlessly. With sustainability as a core principle, the design incorporates local materials and traditional building techniques, presenting a thoughtful response to both the occupants’ lifestyle needs and the environmental ethos of the area. The architectural narrative unfolds through a sequence of spaces, each designed for specific activities while celebrating the natural surroundings of Stockholm’s sparse pine forests and Lake Voxsjön.

Library house / fria folket + hanna michelson

Library House was conceived to accommodate the diverse needs of a ceramicist and a lawyer who required a space that could house their extensive book collection and provide areas for work and creativity.

Library house / fria folket + hanna michelson

Architectural Studio Fria Folket designed the house with a library at its core, resembling a book gallery that encircles a small courtyard. This arrangement allows the couple to enjoy individual peace for work without complete separation from each other.

Positioned on the periphery of a sparse pine forest near Lake Voxsjön, adjacent to their original home, Villa Skoghem, the house features mostly enclosed north, east, and west facades with selected views, while the south side opens towards the lake.

The design integrates four gable-roofed structures around the central library, each dedicated to different functions: the East building for cooking and gardening; the South for arts and crafts; the West for law, science, and music; and the North for meditation and self-development. These are connected thematically and structurally through the library, which acts as the core of the home.

Library house / fria folket + hanna michelson

The layout considers the sun’s trajectory, beginning in the east with the entrance and culminating in the north. This arrangement also influences the privacy gradient from social spaces like the hallway and kitchen to private areas. The clockwise arrangement of the space is underscored by strategically placed windows that encourage movement in this direction, contrasting with the closed bookcase walls when moving counter-clockwise.

Library house / fria folket + hanna michelson

Each corner of the book gallery has a door opening to the courtyard, facilitating an easy transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. The defining square boundary of bookcases, coupled with the transparency of glass framing the courtyard, creates a sense of the library extending beyond its physical confines into an outdoor reading area.

Interior materials are selected for their simplicity against a color palette dominated by white, whitewashed, and natural pine, with a striking contrast provided by the warm brick-red ceramic tiled floor.

Library house / fria folket + hanna michelson

Sustainability is a key aspect of the house, adapted to accommodate existing furniture, notably the Ikea bookcase “Billy”, which influenced the house’s dimensions. Construction techniques prioritize ecological integrity, avoiding plastic, using flax fiber insulation, and employing untreated local pine for the facade. The foundation utilizes foam glass made from recycled glass, and an underground tank collects rainwater for the greenhouse.

Echoing Nordic building traditions, one studio is designed to be thermally independent, allowing the house to be downsized during colder periods. The construction’s rhythmic grid, with load-bearing glass partitions made by local artisans, visually aligns with the divisions of a musical score, structuring the space dynamically.

Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Lake Voxsjön, Gavleborg County, Sweden

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