Architect: Ralph Erskine
Villa Drottningholm, Stockholm, SwedenFrom £1,820
Villa Drottningholm is an example of 20th-century brutalism and functionalism located on Lovön island, on the outskirts of Stockholm. It sits close to Drottningholm Palace, the private residence of the Swedish royal family. Villa Drottningholm was designed and built between 1956-63 by architect Ralph Erskine (1914-2005), for social interaction and communal spirit, and was lived in by Erskine and his family. Radical for its time, the house is one of several modern additions to the old settlement, and sits in stark contrast to the surrounding buildings that date back to the 1700s. In 2006 the house was listed by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
The villa consists of three buildings: an apartment building, a workplace and a garage building, grouped around an atrium-like courtyard with fruit trees and a pond. Influenced by Le Corbusier, the villa has asymmetrically placed windows, which offer views out onto the carefully designed garden. The light concrete facades have smooth rounded corners, and are covered by a pitched black corrugated-iron roof.
The residential building has an open-plan layout and light concrete vaulted ceilings. On the ground floor is a living room with large south-facing windows and a round, central fireplace, a kitchen, and a master bedroom in souterrain. The top floor has a twin bedroom and a single bedroom, and an open-plan area, where up to two people can sleep on sofa beds. There are bathrooms on both floors and WiFi is available. There is a private sauna in the house. The building also has a garden, a patio, bicycles to loan and parking for up to two cars.
The villa is located on the former royal land close to the Drottningholm Royal Castle and park, which is open to the public the year round. Drottningholm is a cultural World Heritage site, next to the inland sea Mälaren, with several buildings designed by famous Swedish architects. A replica of The Box, Erskine’s first DIY-home, has been built on Lovön island and is open by appointment. Ekerö town centre, which Erskine drew the master plans for, is just a 10km drive away. Other attractions include the Royal Court Theatre and Chinese Pavilion, and activities in the area include golf, swimming, tennis, steamboats, boating, cross-country skiing and skating.
The most beautiful way to travel to Drottningholm is by steamship from Stockholm City Hall along Lake Mälaren’s leafy shores (45 mins). Alternatively public transport can be taken from Stockholm (30 mins).
Jan-Dec £1,820 per week
Shorter stays are available at the cost of £300 per night for 1-3 nights, £260 per night for 4-7 nights
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