Villa Skeppet

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VILLA SKEPPET 1969-70

There were two main characteristics that featured the life of Göran Schildt: his compassion for sailing and his love for the Mediterranean culture. In Villa Skeppet both of his passions are reflected through the architecture and the furnishings.

The most distinguished feature of the building is the ceiling of the living room which very much reminds of a big sail. In a way you can say that the mainsail interlinks the two different natures of the house.

The interior spaces are clearly divided into different levels, while semi-open spaces interlink them.
On the lower floor are rooms of private character, the kitchen with the dining room, the bedroom and the harmonious workroom in the eastern direction of the garden. The ceiling, by continuing over the stairs to the living room and also to the high entrance hall, it gives to the hall a crucial function when experiencing the spacial qualities of the house.

The courtyard and the garden were planned with care. The courtyard forms a closed space, where the residential house, the sauna and the shed surround the garden. The center of the farm is the free-form water lily pond.


GÖRAN SCHILDT ABOUT VILLA SKEPPET

”When I due to unhappy circumstances lost my property Villa Itaka in Östersundom right outside of Helsinki I also lost my anchorage and dwelling place in Finland. When Alvar Aalto heard about my unfortune he offered to design a new home for me ”a home that will be so phenomenal that you will move back to Finland”, he said. On my part I had to find a suitable plot somewhere in the south east of Finland but not too close to Helsinki since my work as a writer required an environment that was peaceful and somewhat close to nature. I soon found a suitable plot about a hundred kilometers from Helsinki in the center of the idyllic small town of Ekenäs.

One of the first and immediate remarks Alvar Aalto made about the plot concerned its flatness and its equality in hight. The difference in height between the street and the part of the plot that was to become the inner garden was only one one and a half meter. I knew that Aalto was especially fond of staircases. To him they ment a physical connection between our body and the earth, a place where our legs can perceive the hight differences of the surrounding terrain. When the drawings of the house finally were completed I noticed that Aalto despite of the differences in height had managed to sneak in four stairs outside the front door and five stairs in the hall. Furthermore there are ten steps ascending from the hall to the living room.

Alvar used our way of living, our actual needs to work out the practical solutions of the house. We were a childless couple, my wife worked occasionally in the family owned flower shop and I worked at home as a writer. I needed a space of my own, a place of tranquility where I didn't get disrupted when my wife had guests.

Alvar eagerly defended the thought of merging the kitchen and the dining room into one single space. The idea was that the hostess wouldn’t be downgraded to the role of a waiter, but would instead become a central person during all meals.

Interesting to know is that Villa Skeppet basically is a version of the residence Alvar Aalto 1930 launched in the Helsinki Art Hall under the name Småbostadsutställning. Aalto explained to us that since Villa Skeppet had to fit within a strict budget he designed the size of the rooms to be rather small. He had acted in the same manner regarding Villa Tammekan in Tartu and when planning his own house at Riihitie in Munkkiniemi.

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