At this time of year, it’s not just design brands that are releasing new must-have pieces to inspire and entice us, but publishers too.
So when I heard that one of my favourite architecture and design writers, Dominic Bradbury, was releasing a book dedicated to ‘New Nordic Houses’ I just had to get in touch with him to find out more.
In his latest beautiful book, he takes readers from remote mountainside to forest glen, glacial lake to bustling capital city; offering us a glimpse inside some of the Nordic region’s finest and most innovative homes.
What better way is there to spend a chilly and wet evening, even if it is still only August, than getting consciously cosy with a good book?
Here’s what Dominic had to tell me:
In the new book you take a closer look at over 40 incredible Nordic homes, but what does home look like for you?
We live in a Victorian house in a Norfolk village, which we love. It’s a period building but with contemporary interiors and a lot of character.
Over the years I have gradually been trying to collect more in the way of mid-century and Arts & Crafts furniture, which tend to be quite light in tone and work well together.
I do adore our home but I also have a dream to build a 21st century house from scratch one day, hopefully in Norfolk.
Very handily for readers the homes are grouped together by type. From all the amazing rural cabins, coastal retreats, townhouses and county homes you’ve seen which one has made the most impact on you and why?
It’s hard to pick favourites because there are a lot of wonderful projects in the book. But as someone who loves remote places, I might pick out the Manshausen Island Resort by Stinessen Arkitekur, which has an extraordinary affinity with the sea and the water.
Or perhaps the Fleinvaer Refugium by TYIN Tegnestue and Rintala Eggertsson, which is also situated on an island. Both projects manage to combine drama and modesty within extraordinary landscapes.
The architecture, as well as the interiors, across the Nordic countries has a very distinctive look. What, in your opinion are the key characteristics that defines them?
The houses in the book are clearly very contemporary in form and line, but they are also highly contextual houses that have a lot of respect for their surroundings and settings, which is one of the great strengths of Scandinavian architecture.
Beyond this, they also tend to be quite organic in feel, with a lot of natural materials, and generally built on sustainable principles. All of these things connect back, in one way or another, to a love of the natural world and a respect for its vulnerable beauty.
Which leading Nordic architects do you think are the ones to watch right now? Who is transforming and enhancing how we live today?
The book features some well-known practices, such as Claessen Koivisto Rune, Tham & Videgård. Snøhetta, Saunders Architecture and Gert Wingårdh. But I’d also say we should be looking at architects such as Snorre Stinessen, Reiulf Ramstad, Elding Oscarson and Buster Delin.
It really is an exciting time for Nordic architecture, especially when it comes to big themes like sustainability and original thinking.
So what are you working on next, what exciting new reads can architecture and interior design lovers look forward to? Basically, what books do I need to put on my Christmas list!
Along with New Nordic Houses, Thames and Hudson have also just published another book of mine called ‘Off the Grid – Houses for Escape’.
This was a wonderful project to work on and feeds into my growing preoccupation with modern rural architecture, green living and the whole idea of touching the earth lightly; in this respect, there are some common links between the two books, although Off the Grid has a much more global frame of reference.
Beyond this, there are a couple of monographs and new projects coming soon.
Thank you so much to Dominic for chatting with me. New Nordic Houses is available now from Thames & Hudson, priced £35.00.
Publishers, Thames & Hudson, kindly gifted my copy of New Nordic Houses for this post, but all words and opinions are my own.
To celebrate the publication of New Nordic Houses, I’ve teamed up with publishers Thames & Hudson to create an Instagram competition. One lucky Nordic Notes follower will win their very own copy worth £35.00.
To enter: Just follow both Nordic Notes and Thames & Hudson on Instagram. Like the competition photo and tag a friend who you think would like to win. You can tag as many people as you like, and each tag counts as one entry.
Disclaimer: The giveaway is open to those in the UK only and ends at midnight on Monday 26th August. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on my Instagram account afterwards. Good luck!
Please note this competition is in no way associated with or endorsed by Instagram.
Photo of Dominic Bradbury taken by Richard Powers. All other images by Nicola Capper.