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Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

Svart Hus lives in harmony with the land on which it sits: 5 open acres of meadow and pine forest in Door County, Wisconsin

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry
Svart Hus

Project Name: Svart Hus
Architecture: Nakamoto Forestry
Lead Architects: Kate Smith
Location: Door County, Wisconsin, United States
Area: 3900 ft²
Year: 2021
Photo Credits: xoMe Studio

Enveloped in contrasting tones of Nakamoto Forestry’s shou sugi ban siding, SVART HUS features two well-situated, well-appointed boxes that cleverly separate the living and sleeping spaces, both physically and visually. With clean lines and natural materials that will continuously evolve in tone and texture, SVART HUS lives in harmony with the land on which it sits: 5 open acres of meadow and pine forest in Door County, Wisconsin.

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

Inspired by designer and homeowner Kate Smith’s love of black exteriors and the area’s deep Nordic and Scandinavian roots, the design team named the project SVART HUS. In Swedish, this means “Black House”.

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

To achieve Smith’s bold vision, the design team decided on shou sugi ban (commonly known as “yakisugi” in Japan) a wall and ceiling cladding material made exclusively from Japanese cypress that is intensely burned as a preservative heat treatment. Smith specified Nakamoto Forestry’s Sugi, unburned Japanese cypress, and Suyaki™, the most traditional and dramatic of the shou sugi ban manufacturer’s authentically milled offerings.

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

The two exterior finishes tap into the surroundings and reflect the interior program while adding to the visual interest of the house with the juxtaposition of light and dark. The first structure is enveloped in Suyaki™—a leathery and unbrushed charred surface that blemishes, weathers, and develops character over time. As the seasons change and the house ages, the finish will provide a rich patina, considered an exercise in traditional Japanese wabi-sabi. Absorbed by an evergreen background, the Suyaki™ structure hosts the family’s living, dining, and office spaces.

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

The second structure houses three bedrooms and two baths with views of the natural prairie grass beyond. In contrast with Suyaki™, sugi blends with the soft colors of the meadow, milled and graded for maximum durability and to showcase the inherently beautiful grain.

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

The dynamic exterior inspired the interior finishes: concrete flooring, monochromatic walls, and trim, a heavy dose of walnut, and subtle lighting. Oversized windows marry indoor and outdoor spaces while framing views of one building to another—from Sugi to Suyaki™.

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

Svart Hus / Nakamoto Forestry

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