During time spent working alongside a naval architect, Magnus Ström is said to have wondered why superyachts existed, but not superhouses. Well now, courtesy of Ström, Superhouses could become a reality. They are aimed at being "the most beautiful, unique and design-led houses possible."
Ström, the founder of UK-based Ström Architects, aims to provide the same level of design quality and workmanship for his Superhouses as can be found in superyachts. He promises a holistic approach that will see each house design borne out of the buyer's lifestyle and, in turn, delivered with complementary, non-architectural lifestyle elements.
The approach is summarized as follows: "the investment is not just in a design for a home, it is the design for this lifestyle." In order to deliver on this, Ström says each house will be created through a close working relationship with the buyers and, to retain a sense of exclusivity, a maximum of only 30 Superhouses will ever be made, each with its own number discretely engraved somewhere on the façade.
An initial concept house, numbered S 00/30, has already been designed, with its supposed site on an undisclosed Mediterranean island. Superhouse Zero would be located in a quiet, private bay and accessed via a long winding road through mountainous landscape, or via helicopter.
The concept house features two ground floor timber volumes, one of which contains the kitchen, stores and staff accommodation and the other home to a spa and gym. Sliding screens are used to separate the kitchen and dining area as required and to do the same with the spa and gym spaces and external the external areas.
Raised above the wooden volumes is one long space, which contains the main living areas and is accessed via a floating staircase. There is a master suite at one end, four junior suites at the other and a large gallery area. In the lounge, there is a suspended fireplace over sunken seating.
Outside, an overhang provides solar shading on the patio closest to the building. There is a large seating and eating area that looks out to sea and a sunken fire pit with a circular seating area. More seating is located slightly above the beach and is accessed via a walkway across a 50-m (164-ft) pool. The walkway continues into a jetty where there is space to moor yachts.
The outsider space also has a kitchen area with a bar, space for sunbathing and recreation and timber decking that lifts to reveal storage for sunbeds, cushions and other pool equipment. Elsewhere, there is a single-story garage with space for eight cars and a large basement that houses a wine cellar, a home cinema and an indoor golf driving range.
Despite all this luxury, the house is designed to function completely off-grid. Heating and cooling energy usage is kept to a minimum by way of thorough insulation, while a heat recovery ventilation system is also employed. A photovoltaic array on the roof generates what electricity is required, with multiple Tesla Powerwall Units used to store energy for later use. There is also an on-site mini-sewage treatment plant for waste.
As mentioned, S 00/30 is purely conceptual. The designs have been created to give potential Superhouse buyers an idea of what they could expect, but still took almost six months to create. Ström Architects began offering the Superhouses at the beginning of October and, though design and build costs haven't been set in stone, Superhouse projects will very likely fall into the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" price category.