Clear Architects features in The Times, discussing how to live outside and socialise in a COVID-safe way.
Struggling to find that word that encapsulates the sense of cosiness you feel when you’re huddled under a blanket on a cold night by a roaring fire? In Friday’s issue of The Times (paywall) this phenomenon, friluftsliv, is discussed and Melanie offers her expert insight on why the Scandinavians have it so right, and how to achieve this sense of European cosiness.
The article discussed the rising trend in outdoor spaces that can be used year-round, highlighted (though not originated) through the need to socialise outdoors because of rules surrounding the pandemic. Regarding frilufstliv, the Norwegian outdoor equivalent of the well-known Danish hygge (defined as ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being’), Melanie explains that ‘When you go to Scandinavian countries, they live outside all year, so why not here?’
She continues, ‘my clients lived in Texas for ten years. They said, ‘We really like being outside, and not only in summer’, so we designed several spaces for them!
Creating Cosiness Outdoors
Driftwood’s modernist fire pit referenced in the article incorporates many features to add to this sense of modernity and cosiness. Melanie describes it, saying ‘you go down some steps into the firepit. We made it sunken so it feels cosier. It gives you a sense of enclosure.’ This sense of enclosure is pivotal to both a feeling of snugness and keeping the people seated around the fire pit warm.
Notably, within the patio that the fire pit is contained, it works alongside another outdoor space designed to be used year-round. Melanie elaborates, ‘when you go out the back door, on the left we have a glass canopy extended over an outdoor dining room with electronic heaters’, creating an additional insular and comfortable outdoor spot.
The creative merging of the indoor and outdoor is present in many of our current onsite projects, so watch this space to see even more tips and tricks for creating your own sense of friluftsliv…
Visit the Driftwood project page to take a closer look, and if you want us to design something bespoke like this for you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!