Sweden, a country notoriously famous for being cold and dark. So much so that, during the winter, people get prescribed anti-depression pills and have to get their D-vitamins from a “sunroom”. Yes, a room where special lamps act as an artificial sun! Many things are great in Sweden but the climate is not one of them.
So, what do you do when you live in a place like that? Look forward to summer all year around only to find out that it doesn’t really exist? Drown your sorrows in over 20 varieties of Absolut Vodka? Hang yourself from a poorly put together IKEA furniture? Or maybe just swim with the fish?
Well, you could do that. Or, you could use that Swedish ingenuity of yours and bring some heat your way.
The Swedish Wintergarden
When picturing Sweden one might not instantly think of tropical plants, growing grapes or evening hammock-lying in perfect warmth. Obviously, this does not occur naturally in Swedish outdoors but in recent years, Sweden has seen an architectural trend arise that lets you enjoy a tropical climate in your own home. We are of course talking about the Swedish winter garden.
The winter garden lets you enjoy the surroundings of a garden but with the comfort of being inside. During winter you can escape the cold but still have a cup of warm cocoa while snow is falling all around you. And during summer one can enjoy the midnight sun setting without having to care for mosquitos, midges or other annoying insects.
But what is maybe most exciting for the Swedes is that the microclimate that is created within the winter garden allows for growing some of the most amazing things. One can grow lemons, nectarines, grapes, figs – you name it! Not only fruits but beautiful plants that climb up the walls and furniture that, during seasons, produce beautiful flowers. No wonder it is a hit among Swedish families.
Wanted To Live In a Fairytale
One of the first architects to regularly implement winter gardens into private houses was Ola Torrång, from Gothenburg, Sweden. He built his own house in 1993 and implemented a two story winter garden where they now grow grapes, tomatoes, chilies and more. Apart from the winter garden, the house is filled with other unique and playful additions that gave it the name “The Fairytale House”. The house has been featured in many Hus & Hem and Göteborgsposten.
The winter garden itself hosts temperatures of over 95 °F (35 °C) during hot summer days and sometimes over a comfortable 75 °F (24 °C) during winter! It gives for a fairytale-like escape to say the least.
Winter gardens are being implemented more and more into Swedish households and when traveling through the country one can find many beautiful examples of a Mediterranean climate in the north!
For more information on “The Fairytale House” head over to Unika stenhus to get inspired, architecturally.